Columbia University Alumni Association Networking Event
Having sufficient time is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many people who want to start their own business. One of the most important skills you need when balancing a day job with running a small side business is good time management skills. Learning to prioritize tasks is difficult, but if you fail to do so, you may end up alienating customers and vendors that you need to work with. Learn to take care of jobs that must be done immediately as soon as possible, and delay doing the projects that you know can wait.
Prioritizing business tasks is key, but it doesn’t stop there. Prioritize personal tasks as well to make sure you can carve out sufficient time in your busy day to devote to your startup.
Starting a business requires cash (or credit) up front, and buying an existing business often requires a large lump sum payment. Unfortunately, many people want to start a business precisely because they don’t have any money. This can lead such unprepared entrepreneurs to bury themselves in debt.
It’s simply a fact that your business will need capital, and while investing more money in a business can’t guarantee its success, you can pretty much guarantee the failure of a business that doesn’t have enough. To avoid this situation, thoroughly assess how much you need to start your business and maintain operations. Then, treat that as your baseline, knowing that you will likely encounter several unexpected expenses along the way.
A few basic business expenses include:
rive and ambition aren’t enough – sometimes the early bird gets the worm, and other times slow and steady wins the race. Be patient, and don’t fall prey to these common misconceptions:
An idea doesn’t need to be unique to be profitable – as long as there’s sufficient demand for your product. In fact, a unique idea won’t necessarily translate into big sales. There’s often a reason nobody sells a product like yours, and that reason may be that nobody wants one.
However, researching and developing your business idea is only the first step – you need to do additional research to find out how to make your idea a reality.
Creating a basic business plan can be tedious, but it is very important, especially if you seek financial backing from investors or a bank. It’s also a great litmus test of sorts to see if you’re really interested in running a business – if you can’t take the time to write a basic business plan, even if it’s just a single page, you probably are not prepared to undertake the running of a real business.
Most people who go in for interviews nowadays think that the most important thing is how they look, what’s on their resume and having the correct answer to every question that may be thrown at them. However, all those things may not be enough to land you that job you’ve applied for and worked so hard to land an interview with. As more technologies become available, many employers and recruiters are now using a newer ways when choosing candidates, especially the internet. With the use of the internet information about employees is readily made available to the employer when they choose to publicize their photos and messages on social networking websites, the number one being Facebook.com. Though it is not illegal for employers to check job candidate’s profiles on these websites, the question of ethics come into play. The main concern is to find what specific characteristics employers and recruiters are looking for and how their findings affect their hiring decisions. Ultimately I’ll come to a conclusion as to whether or not having/using a Facebook is a beneficial to job seekers, but I’m willing to say that it is beneficial.
For the greater part of the last century background searches generally focused on the accuracy of your resume, your criminal history (or lack thereof), credit history, drug screening, educational backgrounds, driving records, and reference verification. In the year 2000, 86% of employers performing background checks did so in order to verify employment history. Criminal records were sought after 81% of the time, drug screenings 78% of the time, and reference checks were performed by 71% of employers who had performed background checks. As a result of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), accessing this information requires notification and permission of the applicant in question. Although in some cases this information can be found on the internet, the focus of social networking and internet searches generally does not focus on this information.
Recent surveys have indicated that hiring managers who are using internet search engines to research prospective employees are at an all-time high and a large percentage say they have used social networking sites. Founded in 2004 Facebook was originally limited to use by the college community, but more recently open to the public at large and now almost everyone has an account with them. Although Facebook has many different control settings allowing users to limit and/or block the viewing of their profiles, many users have not taken advantage of these controls leaving them vulnerable to searches performed by those employers who are curious to see what they’re actually like. And those who have increased their network security aren’t safe either. Studies suggest that blocked accounts create the impression that the individual has something to hide, and as such may result in the employer as a negative connotation.
Facebook allows the uploading of personal pictures and videos that can be shared with a select group of people (generally those accepted as friends), or with the public as a whole. Registered users on both sites also have the ability to join groups, which range in topic from support of a particular sports team, political issue, or hobbies the person may be interested in. An employer searching an unrestricted profile has access to all of this information and can use it to decide which candidates to interview and/or hire. A major concern is what specific images and behaviors are employers and recruiters looking for when they check job candidate’s Facebook profiles, and how much influence does the information gathered about candidates from these websites have on hiring practices?
There are some obvious things that you want to refrain from showing on your profile to make sure you land a job. Whether it be provocative photos, profane statuses or any other lude or lascivious content on your profile, one should know better in how they present themselves to an audience and for that reason I won’t go into great detail on the do’s and don’ts of how to conduct yourself on Facebook. And although you may feel like you’re not being “true to yourself,” believe that this is in the best interest if you really want the job.
In conclusion I feel that discrimination is nearly generally accepted as unethical, whether done on with conscious or unconscious intensions. By prejudging a person’s ability to perform a given task based on incorrect or irrelevant information, people may easily be rejected from jobs they would be otherwise very good at. Prospective employees also have a right to informational privacy; information irrelevant to the job should not be used in deciding whether to extend a job offer. If this information is allowed to be used in hiring decisions, it may limit a person’s ability to express themselves in their private lives. By using information found on the internet to screen out applicants, companies are not only acting unethically, but they could be making inaccurate decisions by denying prospective employees the opportunity to interview for a job based on information that, even if correct, has little bearing on their ability to succeed at a given occupation. But if one was to market themselves really well, then it only puts them in better standing with the employer. Regardless if you put your information on Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, as long as it isn’t too explicit and it depicts you as a decent human being, you can’t go wrong. Like they say, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
A CEO has to deal with a lot in business and life. With all of the chaos that goes on in the business world, management counseling can be very therapeutic & beneficial for you and your business. I know that as a business owner or CEO, you may feel like you know it all, you know everything and you don’t need help from anyone. Well truth be told……Stop fooling yourself. Nobody knows everything and we all need help at some point in time with our lives, businesses and careers. That’s why it’s very beneficial for a CEO to getmanagement consulting.
Many things can drive you crazy, make you lose your focus, make you stressed out and make you become unorganized. That’s some of the many good reasons to have someone in your corner who can help you to talk things out and develop solutions. That someone that you need is a management counselor and consultant.
Many times a CEO has a busy and/ or unorganized schedule that might make it difficult to find time to just stop, think about things and put things in perspective. It might be hard for you to stop and really think about who you are, your strengths, weaknesses, drives, personality, your habits and values. You need to take time out to sort through your issues, develop solutions to focus on your core competencies and other aspects of life or business. Therefore, management consulting and counseling can be so beneficial in your business, life and career.
Management consulting can give you a fresh perspective on your life and career. It can show you where you are today and lead you through a process to help you figure out where you want to go in the future. It can help you with your self-awareness, personal development and overall business management. You might not have lots of time for self-reflection or making time for strategic improvements to your personal or management development, BUT you have to make time. If you don’t make time for that, then you could fall apart and your business could fall apart. You have to take time out to get things in order and clear your head.
Many times people don’t seek out and obtain management counseling and consulting because they might be afraid of honest feedback. Truth be told….honest feedback isn’t always flattering but many times you need it. It can really wake you up and help you to see things clearer. You might have a low-level of self-awareness, trying to figure things out, organizing things or some other issue and that’s unfortunate. You need to know and understand is that counseling is an essential first step towards strengthening your management skills and communication skills.
Counseling can help you to improve your judgment and help you identify opportunities for professional improvements, business improvements and growth. A management counselor and consultant can help you to see the light in certain situations, help you to become stronger, more self-aware and help you to manage you business and life better. Your must know and understand that in your counseling sessions, your counselor can’t do the work for you, you must be an active participant. When you become an active participant things can get better for you.
At Hewlett-Packard, where the Management By Walking Around theory was practiced, executives were encouraged to be out of their offices working on building relationships, motivating, and keeping direct touch with the activities of the company. The practice of MBWA at all levels of the company reflects a commitment to keep up to date with individuals and activities through impromptu discussions, “coffee talks”, communication lunches, and the like.
In the early days of Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett devised an active management style that they called Management By Walking Around (MBWA).
Senior HP managers were hardly ever at their desks. They spent most of their days visiting employees, customers, and suppliers. This direct contact with key people provided them with a solid grounding from which viable strategies could be crafted.
Before Palo Alto’s punky garage band the Donnas, the myth of the garage was established by William Hewlett and David Packard, (Master Strategists) founding a company building electronic test and measurement equipment on $500 capital.
These two smart fellows five years out of Stanford, established Hewlett-Packard Corporation and won the bid for an audio oscillator to test the sound equipment for Walt Disney’s “Fantasia”, and their fantasia became reality.
Their company’s 1968 Hewlett-Packard 9100A was the first personal computer, but they marketed it as a “desktop calculator” so as not to evoke images of IBM. They developed the laser printer, the single unit printer/copier/scanner/FAXer, and a bunch of other stuff.
In the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, their Ohio office shipped militarily useful tech to Iraq. By 2000, a series of corporate buyouts and acquisitions made H-P the world’s largest manufacturer of personal computers.
The garage myth was re-energized (and craftily exploited) by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in the 1970s. In my 1991 muralized interactive kiosk “Collaborationation” I limned the myth of the garage, as applicable to my own fruitful forms of collaboration, garage bands and even community murals.
MBWA is an informal top management practice. It makes the entire workplace less formal. It was MBWA that made leadership more effective in many well-run organizations. MBWA frequently goes together with an open-door management policy. It “lets senior management hunt for and enjoy chatting with the creative thinkers in the guts of the organization”.
At first, employees may suspect that MBWA is just an excuse for managers to spy and interfere unnecessary. This suspicion usually falls away if the walkabouts occur regularly, and if everyone can see their benefits.
MBWA has been found to be particularly helpful when an organization is under exceptional stress; for instance, after a significant corporate reorganization has been announced. It is no good practicing MBWA for the first time on such an occasion, however. It has to have been a regular practice before the stress arises.
Tom Peters, the guru of Excellence, saw “managing by wandering around” as the basis of leadership and excellence. Peters called MBWA the “technology of obvious”. Here are a few tips to assist you in that same pursuit as you Manage By Wandering Around.
Anecdotal and research evidence demonstrates that there are real benefits to groups of people from different cultural backgrounds working together. The specific nature of those benefits varies from one individual to the next, depending on personal circumstances and the organisation you work for.
Increased knowledge - Working with people from different backgrounds exposes you to a wider variety of experiences and knowledge than you may have the opportunity to access in your home environment. It also helps you to keep up to date with healthcare issues and progress at an international level.
Broader skills – Being part of an international team can greatly enhance your interpersonal skills and give you a broader perspective.
A valuable experience – As more and more work teams cross national boundaries, having experience of working within an international context is becoming increasingly important.
Common goal – International communication within T helps to ensure that everyone remains focused on the same goals and objectives.
Keeping up to date – Encouraging individuals to collaborate internationally, rather than working only within their home country, helps the collaboration ensure that all of its members are sharing knowledge. Access to this wide range of information helps everyone to keep their work up to date and of high quality.
Benefit of others’ experience – Communication between members helps to avoid duplication and maximize economy of effort. Having people from different backgrounds working together on projects and reviewing each others’ work helps to minimize bias.
Greater creativity – Research shows that heterogeneous groups are more creative than homogenous groups. Heterogeneous groups tend to consider issues from a broader range of perspectives than homogenous groups and so generate a wider range of ideas.
Continuous improvement – Heterogeneous groups often question each other more than homogenous groups; frequent challenge of the status quo helps to ensure that opportunities for improvement are always considered.
Wider participation – International team working enables those individuals working in countries where methodologies are new to get support and assistance to help them to promote the Collaboration. Without international team working it would be far more difficult to establish and sustain activity in these countries. International team working helps us all to better understand the difficulties of promoting methodologies within different cultures and countries. Better understanding and sharing of experiences will help the Collaboration to provide appropriate support to individuals and groups. In turn this will help the Collaboration to promote its methodologies worldwide.
Greater relevance – Not surprisingly, research has shown that international team working helps to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of the organisation. In terms of international teams should help to ensure that the organisation is focusing on the most appropriate healthcare issues at an international level, and that appropriate consideration is given to local needs and requirements.
Promoting access – International team working promotes the work of the Collaboration at an international level that has a direct impact on dissemination of the organisation’s outputs. Not only is it likely to influence availability of information it is also likely to impact on the way in which information is presented.
The Pre-Writing Steps:
Analyzing the writing assignment: Before the writer can plan his paper, he must know for whom he is writing, what the length limitation is (such as in publication), what the conventions (based on the situation) of subject matter, style, and organization are.
Searching for a paper-idea: Starting from what he knows, the writer casts about until he feels he has something that will work in terms of the writing situation of the moment. Sometimes what be comes upon is no more than a feeling and at that one too indefinite, too uncertain to be called a purpose; really it will be something like a sense of direction, a feeling that if he starts writing along a certain line, something right will come into being. At other times he may get a sense of shape or form; he may have the beginning of his piece, or the .end, or both; and the whole will grow from the part or parts. Sometimes the writer will have a notion or an idea—some thing that he wants to say, that he thinks others should hear or will want to. Generally speaking, what the writer doesn’t have is material. And a writer writes by finding material that will somehow give reality to his feelings, his notions, his ideas.
Examining his knowledge of the selected topic for areas which may need investigation: The writer must now determine what information he will need to find before he can begin writing the paper; this is the step where he may choose to use an informal outline or a series of running notes on the subject to determine the gaps in his knowledge of the topic.
Gathering information: The writer may gather all of the information for the paper from memory, but more often he will need to consult books or other people (interviews) to find the information he needs. Occasionally he may perform his own experiments as a source of information about a subject.
Organizing the paper: The writer may do this formally or informally; he may write out his notes in a more or less formal outline of the paper, he may organize then in his head, or he may simply sort note cards into separate piles which he then arranges according to a predetermined plan. This plan may be taking shape simultaneously with the preceding two steps, particularly in the case of the short paper.
The Writing Step:
Writing the paper: Some writers prefer to rush through this step, writing the rough draft as quickly as they can, to “get everything down on paper” while their flow of thought is uninterrupted. Others write the first draft more slowly, thus eliminating the need for as much re-writing as the first group has. Occasionally, one finds a writer who writes and rewrites as he goes, so that when he writes the last sentence of the first draft, his paper is finished. The last writer, is rare, however, and is usually found only among the highly experienced writers; still, it may be the method that comes naturally to one or more students in class.
The Post Writing Steps:
Revising the rough draft: Some writers revise as many as six or seven times before they are satisfied with the style, grammar, spelling, punctuation and minor details of organization. Revision is a time-consuming process; it is necessary to allow the paper to lie fallow after the first draft has been written and perhaps even after each of the revisions themselves. The writer needs time for reconsideration of the topic if he is going to be able to approach the revision with freshness.
Copying and proof-reading the MS for typographical errors.
Conferring with an editor: At this point professional writers usually submit their pieces to an editor or a group of editors and the finishing of the article becomes a collaborative; effort. In the classroom the teacher may serve as editor.
Blogging has become very popular today and it has become a source of income for some. You see blogs as mediums for people who want to express themselves but it can be used for more than just that, it can be your source of income for managing debts or finances. If you are interested in this type of work, then read on and learn how to do it.
1. Advertise- this is a very common thing for blogs. The more known you are to a certain place, the more likely you are to advertise on your site. Just choose the ones that go well with your site then be ready to get paid. You will earn money depending on how many readers click on the ads.
2. Promote other products- I’m pretty sure you have seen a lot of blogs with reviews of certain products. Promoting other people’s products can be an opportunity for you to earn money. You can even do this with your family and friends, if they have a certain business, talk them into giving you a percentage for posting their products and whenever you sell some. Also, there are programs that will enable you to hyperlink your blog to other sites for easier access to where it can be bought.
3. Paid surveys- answering surveys is a very simple thing to do. That is why getting paid while answering it is another easy way to make money. To maximize this, you can post the questionnaires on your blog and have other people answer it too. Just be careful with choosing survey companies, as most of them are scams and would often ask you to shelf out cash before answering the survey questions. Research first to make sure that all is safe.
4. Freelancing- if you have skills that you think are marketable, why not use it to earn money? You can freelance as a designer, consultant, writer, editor or something else. Put up your works in your blog and share it to people. Use your blog as your online portfolio to showcase you skills.
5. Popularity- This may not be an easy thing to achieve but the more followers you have, the faster you’ll be able to earn your income and the more likely they are to click those ads you have on your site. If you are staring to earn your fame with you blog, people may endorse it to others and so on.
The money you earn will help you in a lot of ways. It can help you pay for your rent or credit bills to keep your credit score healthy. You can use your money wisely and your credit report will thank you. Again, earning money doesn’t come easily. You have to work hard in order to do so. You have to regularly update your blog to keep your followers interested.