Archive | August 2015

The Relationship with your Product Producer

Once you have started to build up your company, and once you have all of the things in line for it you have to work on building up the trust level with your product producer. You want to be sure that you are talking with these people and that you are going to make sure that you are getting as much out of the relationship as you can.

One of the things that you have to remember is that the agents that you are going to have to deal with the agents, whether or not you want to. An agent is someone who is most of the time going to be an independent contractor who will work to sell products for the manufacture. No matter what you are going to be doing, you want to be sure that you are dealing as well as you can with these agents. They might be a pain, and in fact there might be major problems with them. This happens sometimes, but you have to realize that you are going to have to work with the agents, which means that you are going to have to be sure that you get a long with the agents as well as you can.

There are many things that you want to remember when you are working with the agents. First of all, no matter what they are or where they sit when it comes to ethics, you are going to have to be working with them very often. This means that you are going to have to work with your agent, no matter what their own morals might be.

Another thing that you want to remember is that when you are looking at agents and various other aspects of your business, there are going to be lots of people who might want to take advantage of you, especially if you are just starting out. If you are able to look at the things that you have to offer, and if you are setting the prices that you want to set as you are working, there are going to be people who are telling you that what you are doing doesn’t quite work right. This is something that is very important to remember. You don’t want to deny the things that you believe in, and you don’t’ want to back down when you have set prices.

When you are being responsible and setting the prices for your products and services, you know that the ones that you have set are going to be the best for your company. However, if you are just starting out you might find that you are unable to find agents that will deal with you on your terms. This might be the case, but if you hold out long enough you will, in the end, be able to find agents and other workers who will believe in you and who will follow through with how they feel about you, no matter what. This is something that you have to wait for, be responsible for, and hold out for.

Once you have started to build up your company, and once you have all of the things in line for it you have to work on building up the trust level with your product producer. You want to be sure that you are talking with these people and that you are going to make sure that you are getting as much out of the relationship as you can.

One of the things that you have to remember is that the agents that you are going to have to deal with the agents, whether or not you want to. An agent is someone who is most of the time going to be an independent contractor who will work to sell products for the manufacture. No matter what you are going to be doing, you want to be sure that you are dealing as well as you can with these agents. They might be a pain, and in fact there might be major problems with them. This happens sometimes, but you have to realize that you are going to have to work with the agents, which means that you are going to have to be sure that you get a long with the agents as well as you can.

There are many things that you want to remember when you are working with the agents. First of all, no matter what they are or where they sit when it comes to ethics, you are going to have to be working with them very often. This means that you are going to have to work with your agent, no matter what their own morals might be.

Another thing that you want to remember is that when you are looking at agents and various other aspects of your business, there are going to be lots of people who might want to take advantage of you, especially if you are just starting out. If you are able to look at the things that you have to offer, and if you are setting the prices that you want to set as you are working, there are going to be people who are telling you that what you are doing doesn’t quite work right. This is something that is very important to remember. You don’t want to deny the things that you believe in, and you don’t’ want to back down when you have set prices.

When you are being responsible and setting the prices for your products and services, you know that the ones that you have set are going to be the best for your company. However, if you are just starting out you might find that you are unable to find agents that will deal with you on your terms. This might be the case, but if you hold out long enough you will, in the end, be able to find agents and other workers who will believe in you and who will follow through with how they feel about you, no matter what. This is something that you have to wait for, be responsible for, and hold out for.

The Benefits Of Itil Training For Your Business

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) training is one of the best assets you can acquire for yourself for implementing an information management system that will improve the efficiency and increase the productivity of your business.

Ever since the system was first introduced in the 1990’s its reputation and clientele have grown at an impressive rate. Today, it is the most widely applied information systems management strategy available, and most of the big companies owe their success to having used an ITIL-based system.

IT services are greatly enhanced

Because the ITIL style of running the business addresses all problematic issues as they come and resolves them in the quickest and most diplomatic way possible, these problems never constitute a major obstacle to the business process and the flow of communication proceeds unimpeded.

Besides preventing the process from slowing down because of difficulties encountered in one of the departments, ITIL structures the organization of the company in such a way that pertinent information reaches the people who have full authority to act on them in the soonest possible time. This ability stems from the fact that system cuts up processes into their basic parts and assigns people for each of the major stages of the process. In that way, the question of who is empowered to act on an issue is settled as soon as that issue emerges. That further speeds up the business process.

Concomitant with avoiding any waste of time, the system enables the business to devote more energy towards being productive. Since problems are addressed fast and resolved easily, employees do not spend their time in the office preoccupied with pending issues. They get the chance to focus on the productive job they have on hand.

Not only is interoffice communication improved, but also client relationships. ITIL makes the creation of a friendly environment for clients possible. Employees are taught how to be client-centered. They learn how to resolve issues brought up by clients in a timely and helpful manner. The clients themselves will never have to return another day because the employee entertaining them does not know to resolve their problems.

An ITIL system with its improved protocol for the transmission of information can almost always provide clients with satisfactory answers to their queries. Of course, when clients are pleased with an organization’s treatment, they will want to keep coming back and patronizing that organization’s services.

As a result of this increased rate of returning clients, the goods and services provided by the company become highly scalable, as is also the case with third-party applications that the company provides the clients.

Finally, the positive effects of having a good ITIL-based system management program in place can only lead to the one thing that all organizations dream of, and that is internal and external growth. Employees grow in stature as they daily learn to master the skills of good communication. Their career prospects grow. At the same time, the company itself will begin to feel the need to expand its boundaries, given the excellent reaction of the public to their way of conducting business.

This entry was posted on August 25, 2015, in Business and tagged .

The Evolution Of Business Analysts

Software application development has only been around since the late 1970s. Compared to other industries and professions the software industry is still very young. Ever since organizations began to use computers to support their business tasks, the people who create and maintain those “systems” have become more and more sophisticated and specialized. This specialization is necessary because as computer systems become more and more complex, no one person can know how to do everything.

One of the “specialties” to arise is the Business Analyst. A Business Analyst is a person who acts as a liaison between business people who have a business problem and technology people who know how to create solutions. Although some organizations have used this title in non-IT areas of the business, it is an appropriate description for the role that functions as the bridge between people in business and IT. The use of the word “Business” is a constant reminder that any application software developed by an organization should further improve its business operations, either by increasing revenue, reducing costs, or increasing service level to the customers.

History of the Business Analyst Role

In the 1980s when the software development life cycle was well accepted as a necessary step, people doing this work typically came from a technical background and were working in the IT organization. They understood the software development process and often had programming experience. They used textual requirements along with ANSI flowcharts, dataflow diagrams, database diagrams, and prototypes. The biggest complaint about software development was the length of time required to develop a system that didn’t always meet the business needs. Business people had become accustomed to sophisticated software and wanted it better and faster.

In response to the demand for speed, a class of development tools referred to as CASE (Computer Aided Software Engineering) were invented. These tools were designed to capture requirements and use them to manage a software development project from beginning to end. They required a strict adherence to a methodology, involved a long learning curve, and often alienated the business community from the development process due to the unfamiliar symbols used in the diagrams.

As IT teams struggled to learn to use CASE tools, PCs (personal computers) began to appear in large numbers on desktops around the organization. Suddenly anyone could be a computer programmer, designer and user. IT teams were still perfecting their management of a central mainframe computer and then suddenly had hundreds of independent computers to manage. Client-server technologies emerged as an advanced alternative to the traditional “green screen,” keyboard-based software.

The impact on the software development process was devastating. Methodologies and classic approaches to development had to be revised to support the new distributed systems technology and the increased sophistication of the computer user prompted the number of software requests to skyrocket.

Many business areas got tired of waiting for a large, slow moving IT department to rollout yet another cumbersome application. They began learning to do things for themselves, or hiring consultants, often called Business Analysts, who would report directly to them, to help with automation needs. This caused even more problems for IT which was suddenly asked to support software that they had not written or approved. Small independent databases were created everywhere with inconsistent, and often, unprotected data. During this time, the internal Business Analyst role was minimized and as a result many systems did not solve the right business problem causing an increase in maintenance expenses and rework.

New methodologies and approaches were developed to respond to the changes, RAD (rapid application development), JAD (joint application development), and OO (object oriented) tools and methods were developed.

As we began the new millennium, the Internet emerged as the new technology and IT was again faced with a tremendous change. Once again, more sophisticated users, anxious to take advantage of new technology, often looked outside of their own organizations for the automation they craved. The business side of the organization started driving the technology as never before and in a large percentage of organizations began staffing the Business Analyst role from within the operational units instead of from IT. We now have Marketing Directors, Accountants, Attorneys, and Payroll Clerks performing the role of the Business Analyst.

In addition, the quality movement that had started in the 70s with TQM, came into focus again as companies looked for ways to lower their cost of missed requirements as they expanded globally. The ISO (International Standards Organization) set quality standards that must be adhered to when doing international business. Carnegie Mellon created a software development quality standard CMM (Capability Maturity Model). Additionally, Six Sigma provided a disciplined, data-driven quality approach to process improvement aimed at the near elimination of defects from every product, process, and transaction. Each of these quality efforts required more facts and rigor during requirements gathering and analysis which highlighted the need for more skilled Business Analysts familiar with the business, IT, and quality best practices.

Future of the Business Analyst Role

Today we see Business Analysts coming from both the IT and business areas. In the best situations, the Business Analyst today has a combination of IT and business skills. Each organization has unique titles for these individuals and the structure of Business Analyst groups is as varied as the companies themselves. However, there is a core set of tasks that most Business Analysts are doing regardless of their background or their industry.

The Business Analyst role becomes more critical as project teams become more geographically dispersed.
Outsourcing and globalization of large corporations have been the driving factors for much of this change recently. When the IT development role no longer resides inside our organizations, it becomes necessary to accurately and completely define the requirements in more detail than ever before. A consistent structured approach, while nice to have in the past, is required to be successful in the new environment. Most organizations will maintain the Business Analyst role as an “inhouse” function. As a result, more IT staff are being trained as Business Analysts.

The Business Analyst role will continue to shift its focus from “Software” to “Business System.”
Most Business Analysts today are focused on software development and maintenance, but the skills of the Business Analyst can be utilized on a larger scale. An excellent Business Analyst can study a business area and make recommendations about procedural changes, personnel changes, and policy changes in addition to recommending software. The Business Analyst can help improve the business system not just the business software.

The Business Analyst role will continue to evolve as business dictates.
Future productivity increases will be achieved through re-usability of requirements. Requirements Management will become another key skill in the expanding role of the Business Analyst as organizations mature in their understanding of this critical expertise. The Business Analyst is often described as an “Agent of Change.” Having a detailed understanding of the organization’s key initiatives, a Business Analyst can lead the way to influence people to adapt to major changes that benefit the organization and its business goals. The role of a Business Analyst is an exciting and secure career choice as U.S. companies continue to drive the global economy.

Training for the Business Analyst

The skill set needed for a successful Business Analyst is diverse and can range from communication skills to data modeling. A Business Analyst’s educational and professional background may vary as well–some possess an IT background while others come from the business stakeholder area.

With backgrounds as diverse and broad as these it is difficult for a Business Analyst to possess all the skills necessary to perform successful business analysis. Companies are finding that individuals with a strong business analysis background are difficult to locate in the marketplace and are choosing to train their employees to become Business Analysts in consistent structured approaches. First, organizations seeking formal business analysis training should examine vendors who are considered “experts” on the field with a strong focus on business analysis approaches and methodologies. Second, you will want to examine the quality of the training vendor’s materials. This may be done by researching who wrote a vendor’s materials and how often they are updated to stay abreast of industry best practices. Third, matching the real-world experience of instructors to the needs and experience level of your organization is critical to successful training. Business analysis is an emerging profession and it is critical that the instructors that you choose have been practicing Business Analysts.

Reasons To Hire A Small Business Marketing Consultant

Many business owners operate under the false assumption that marketing consultants are only affordable for larger companies. In truth, there are many benefits to hiring a small business marketing consultant, as outlined below.
What Marketing Consultants Do
First, here’s a look at just what a small business marketing consultant does for organizations:
Overall business evaluation. It’s hard for new business owners to evaluate their young organizations. A small business marketing consultant can pull from years of business experience to assess the weaknesses and strengths of a fledgling business.
Strategic planning. Business consultants must have:
1. A strong educational record in business.
2. Extensive experience as a business leader.
3. Exceptional understanding of how business trends work.
These features allow consultants to provide suggestions on how a business can succeed. After learning about an organization and identifying major opportunities and obstacles, a small business marketing consultant should be able to create a strategic plan to lead the firm to success.
Marketing design. Chances are your small business marketing consultant can write excellent ad copy to draw in new customers. Beyond designing small business marketing strategies, consultants can construct complete marketing campaigns. From graphic design to copywriting and editing, a small business consultant can wear many different hats while helping your business succeed.
Project and process management. The consulting lifestyle appeals to many leaders in the business world. Indeed, most small business consultants are top business performers who have decided to shift to a different way of life. This means small business consultants usually have project management and process design skills, which they can employ to improve your business’s performance.
How Small Businesses Benefit
Now that we’ve reviewed just what a small business marketing consultant does, let’s explore the benefits of hiring such consultants:
A fresh perspective. Contracting with a consultant as one of your small business marketing strategies will bring you an unbiased, fresh perspective. Internal conflicts and ongoing office politics can limit one’s vision. Outside consultants are free of preconceived ideas about your business, so they can provide a fresh perspective.
High-quality help. As mentioned earlier, most business consultants have transitioned to consultancy from a star-studded business career. In other words, you’ll likely receive top-shelf advice from your consultant – and for less than the cost of a single employee.
Peace of mind. Partnering with a small business marketing consultant can help you feel calm and confident about the future of your business. With peace of mind, you can better focus on your organization’s core offerings and drawing in new business.
Cost and time efficiency. You get great bang for your buck when you hire a small business marketing consultant. Since most marketing strategy planning consultants charge hourly rates, you avoid paying employee-related taxes by hiring them. Moreover, consultants are experienced, versatile professionals capable of handling everything from social media to long-term strategic planning. Rather than bringing in a new crew of writers, marketers, project managers and designers, you can pay a trusted advisor on an as-needed basis. Hiring a small business marketing consultant maximizes cost-efficiency.
Clearly, there are multiple benefits to partnering with a small business marketing consultant. From creating comprehensive small business marketing strategies to performing overall business check-ups, marketing consultants can help your company shine.