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Month: November 2015

The Importance of Business Studies As a Route to Success

The Importance of Business Studies As a Route to Success

Business studies as a line of study is growing in popularity every day. From the time when it was just a few who joined management school to pursue this line of study, business colleges are now becoming a favored destination for students.

What Does This Line of Study Teach?

As you go through the tenure of a course in business studies, you will be exposed to every aspect of the corporate world. The course will start with teaching you the main functions of a company. These include financial planning, marketing, management, and human resource development.

Financial planning will then introduce concepts such as cost cutting, taxation, internal auditing, financial planning and budgeting. The course will also teach you to deal with banks, financial institutions, and other creditors as well as debtors and shareholders. It will teach you about inventory management as well as balance sheet management.

Marketing studies work at training students in all aspects of this very vast field. Starting with inventory management, moving on to dealer and channel management, distribution network development and management and advertising and promotion, this branch of business studies gets a student completely ready to step into the marketing division of a company.

Human resource development is another very important function of a company. From imparting basic knowledge of the documentation and statutory requirements of this key function, it also teaches students how to deal with different types of behavior displayed by individuals at the workplace. It often happens that an individual might behave in a completely different manner when he or she is part of a group as compared to his or her normal individual behavior. These studies teach students specializing in this line of management how to interpret behavioral patterns displayed by individuals in the organization in group situations and in crisis situations, as well as in the normal day-to-day workplace environment.

Why do we say that business studies are important to achieve success? This is because there is practically no other line of studies which has a curriculum with such an extensive all-around development agenda. Apart from knowledge, the course also imparts presentation skills and teaches students how to work on their personalities so that they can be effective in their interaction with their seniors, juniors and peers, as well as those with whom they come in contact during the normal course of their job. It is this focus on all-around development that makes business studies an important step in the path to success for any individual.

Small Business Solutions for Facing the Challenges of the Market

Small Business Solutions for Facing the Challenges of the Market

You have taken the step, no, the giant leap in your life – launching your own business. Now your dream is floating out there on the big bad sea of competitive business; dodging sharks, swimming in the space between the giant whales and gobbling what nourishment you can. It is a scary place to be but also exciting, can you make it in this jungle? Does your business have what it takes? Now is the time to remember one of life’s most important lessons. Never be too afraid to ask for help, small business help to be specific.

Let me introduce you to the concept of small business solutions. I am talking about optimizing every aspect of your company, of boosting your performance from surviving to thriving. You need solutions tailored to the requirements and factors unique to your business.

Among your most important resources is the human resource. Developing your staff and identifying future leaders and innovators is critical to the growth of your business. Get help to enable your employees to grow. Human Resource (HR) operations are essential to the smooth running of your company. The solutions can streamline these processes for you. Automate much of your HR operations, especially payroll. This will save time and resource on HR, which are better spent in other avenues to improve your business. Build loyalty and word-of-mouth publicity among customers by using small business solutions to develop and advance your customer care service to new levels of excellence.

Use Information Technology (IT) to your advantage. Go online and connect your staff. It can integrate and adapt processes to maintain quick and easy communication between your employees, reducing risks and costs while improving efficiency. You could use small business help in finding the cheapest sources of the best supplies. Improve your procurement procedures by engaging in online bidding. Develop processes to ensure terms and conditions of your contract are being met.

There are solutions to accelerate your financial closes and customer to cash processes. Do not hesitate to get small business help in managing your cash resources and liquidity, carefully handling your sensitive assets and protecting your business from risk, all while staying within compliance standards.

Small business solutions will revolutionize the way you operate. They will improve your company’s performance on every level, allowing you to make decisions and take up challenges with confidence.

Business Plan Software Review: Ultimate Business Planner

Business Plan Software Review: Ultimate Business Planner

One of the main reasons business owners and entrepreneurs use business plan software is to simplify building their financial models. Even with an explosion in business plan software packages on the market today, “doing the financial projections” is still often cited as the most difficult part of completing a business plan. Yet, software can still simplify financial forecasting.

The question is: Which software?

Ultimate Business Planner has been touted as a dynamic, interactive planning tool that takes the drudgery out of complex, time-consuming financial forecasting and business planning. It combines easy-to-use software functions with a step-by-step approach to create a business plan.

It is designed for those individuals or businesses in need of getting a business plan done fast. The Ultimate Business Planner prides itself on being the fastest and easiest way to write a winning business plan.

Atlas Business Solutions, Inc. (ABS), developer of the business planning technology in QuickBooks® Premier 2005 and the maker of Ultimate Business Planner, is a well-respected and established business software development company. Their products are top rated and are priced moderately.

So, let’s check it out…

Step-by-step approach with five manageable sections

The Ultimate Business Planner breaks the business planning process into five manageable sections: Company, Income, Expenses, Interview and Plan.

The first four sections gather information to prepare and complete your financial forecast. Interactive dialogs with plain-English instructions, questions and fill-in the blanks capture information and build your company profile. Income and expense worksheets enable you to define income and expense categories and project monthly amounts with easy to use forecasting functions.

There are three methods you can use to enter your monthly income or expense data: manually or cell-by-cell, automatically – using a combination of the worksheet functions to project amounts for you based on your assumptions, or importing/copy paste – take data from your files if you are using QuickBooks Pro/Premier/Enterprise 2003 (or later) or simply copying and pasting data from an MS Excel worksheet.

The fifth section provides several tools to write a business plan including: a business plan outline to guide you step-by-step in writing your business plan, topic guides and example tabs that explain what you should include in each topic with examples of each, and a powerful, easy to use text editor for entering and editing your text.

Includes help functions, advice, and how-to hints to

overcome most business plan obstacles

The package includes many help functions for advice and how-to hints to overcome the many obstacles to writing a successful business plan. For example, refer to the twenty-five industry-specific sample business plans for suggested wording, or to copy-and-paste select phrases or sections directly into your business plan to break through writers block quickly. Or, there are many financial wizards available to calculate loan amounts, interest rates, monthly payments, depreciation, amortization and more.

Complete the sections and

Ultimate Business Planner does the rest

With Ultimate Business Plan, you are free to complete each section in the order you choose. Then, when the sections are complete, the Ultimate Business Planner does the rest. It evaluates the financial viability of your business ideas or strategies quickly and easily; creates complete financial statement projections (for up to 36 months) to show to your bankers or other potential investors; and, produces a professional report in ever respect including graphs to highlight the potential of your business plan.

Change scenarios for

intelligent, informed decisions

Changing scenarios is easy with the Ultimate Business Planner. For example, to quickly see how hiring more employees or adding a new product affects your bottom line simply go to period and change the amount. The software will automatically update all the related financial statements, charts and tables. In short, the Ultimate Business Planner allows you to see how your bottom line is affected by unlimited business situations.

What’s missing?

Three things I wish the Ultimate Business Planner would do. First, allow users the option to enter historical financial data (an important option if you are an established business). Second, either extend or allow users the option to extend the forecast period to five years (a common time horizon for venture capitalist and equity sponsors). Third, allow users to vary gross margin assumptions on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis (in version 3.0 material, labor and overhead assumptions remain fixed throughout the entire three-year forecast period).

But don’t let these things hold you back from trying the Ultimate Business Planner. You can easily work around them and the time and ease of use in other areas more than offsets these shortcomings.

For example, to include historical financial data, you can export your projections to Excel and then add the needed history directly into MS Excel®. If you want a five-year projection, simply create a new file that begins with the ending balances forecasted in your original three-year plan and do the addition two-year projection in the new file. Then, you can merge the original three-year plan with the extended plan using MS Excel®. If you want to vary the gross margin assumptions over the forecast period, you can create separate product categories for the same product and vary the material, labor and overhead as a percentage of sales for each product category and related period.

Business Solutions in Online Survey Software

Business Solutions in Online Survey Software

Whether you’re the VP of a large company or a small business owner, you want to know more information about your clients and your target market. Now that so many people are online the virtual plain of the Internets is one of the best places to contact your target market. To this effect, online survey software companies are a great business solution. They provide you with the ability to build surveys, send them out to mailing lists, and receive answers quickly and all in one software. Using this type of tool as a business solution, the sky is the limit!

Well, almost… Not all online survey software companies will suit your specific needs. You’ll need to shop around. Online survey software companies all provide survey creators, data collection, and many similar features. How, then, are business people supposed to decide which tool suits their needs best? Survey creation is important because it affects what respondents experience during their survey and determines drop-out levels. It is important to keep in mind the contact management of the software: what features exist for publishing surveys? If you collect data, then you most likely need to present the results, and therefore, the reporting capabilities of the software are also important. With all of these features available, we could choose any one of them to base our decision on. This choice depends on your and your business’ needs.

One way to make a decision, which may prove most effective for determining the utility of software to your business, is to place more importance on the data analysis capabilities of the various software companies. To get meaningful results from your survey you need more than just numbers and percentages. You need advanced data analysis. Advanced data analysis includes using multi-level crosstabs to obtain brand feedback, for example. Another example could be conducting pricing analysis to measure the likelihood of purchase at a specific price point. To provide you with business solutions survey software has to go above and beyond simple survey creation and data collection. Advanced data analysis is imperative.

There is so much potential for survey software to provide real business solutions. It is important for you and your business to look for the features in each company that will best suit your needs. Here are some of the features that may provide potential solutions for your business:

Solutions for marketing:

Online survey software has the potential to help you to understand your current and future markets using analysis to identify clear action points that feed into marketing plans. Certain survey software companies have the potential to become meaningful market research tools for your company. By capturing customer feedback, you can ensure that you minimize customer churn to build relationships and keep customers happy. You can also analyze survey data to speed up a new product development process and gather feedback from your target market on pricing, new product concepts, and product features. By collecting feedback on advertising concepts, website design, packaging, logos, etcetera, you can improve current marketing campaigns and fine-tune future ones. For example, some software allows you to use multi-level cross-tabulations to obtain brand feedback from various populations; test advertising concepts using heat-map or video; and conduct pricing analysis with scale slider questions to measure the likelihood of purchase at a specific price point. This software even allows you to create multilingual surveys in order gather global feedback from your customers all over the world.

Solutions for sales:

Using online surveys you can capture valuable customer feedback to provide information to your Sales Department about their current satisfaction and dissatisfaction levels as well as future requirements. Use this information to identify ‘at-risk’ customers, follow-up on leads to develop new business or upsell to customers who have unfulfilled requirements. Use trend analysis to measure changes in customer feedback over time. Using advanced analysis functions to identify clear action points that feed into sales strategy can optimize your business’ relationships with customers. You can evaluate the impact of advertising campaigns among your sales forces. Some companies make things a little easier by funneling survey data directly to your sales team with Salesforce integration. This way your Sales department is alerted to dissatisfied customers and provides the opportunity to build relationships before the customer dissatisfaction reaches critical levels.

Solutions for Human Resources:

The backbone of your business is the people who make it work: your employees. To optimize your business, you need to make sure your team is fit, satisfied, and efficient. Survey software can provide innovative solutions to keeping your team satisfied and functioning at the top of their game. Using online surveys you can gather feedback from employees about corporate communication, benefits, salaries, satisfaction, training and development opportunities. With features such as ‘grouping’, you can develop 360-degree feedback from questionnaires, e-learning quizzes or even post-training tests. The feedback you receive will allow you to improve churn rates, improve internal communications, address areas of higher dissatisfaction, and develop appropriate training programs. The possibilities for gathering feedback are endless, but of course, once again, you have to use tools with advanced data analysis to deal with this data effectively.

Every business is looking for ways to improve their profits, satisfy their customers, and keep their employees happy. Online survey software is one way to provide your business with solutions and tools to achieve these objectives. It is important to look for attractive survey creators to optimize respondent experience and improve your chances of getting more responses. However, as I have emphasized in this article, it is the data analysis components of the software that provide the most advantages and solutions for your business. There are several survey software companies that provide these types of data analysis tools. You need to shop around a find the tool that suits your specific needs. Engage in intelligent consumerism, go beyond the survey sending step, and demand more from your survey tools.