Is a Small or Big Company Better For You?

Is a Small or Big Company Better For You?

By: Nga Pham

 

As the job market is now very complicated, most graduated students are suffering from the
choice of their future career in whether a small-scale company or big cooperation. Even though
the job descriptions may look the same in words, there are quite a few differences that you need
to know before choosing which is more suitable for you.

Tasks and responsibilities

In small companies, there are likelihoods that you have to do various tasks which surrounded
your positions. Doing a bit here and there gives you a full overlook and also help
you to gain lots of knowledge and experiences.

The responsibilities, in the end, are bigger as you
are already contributing a great part to the company’s success. If you find yourself wanting to be a
part of everything, then small companies may be a good choice.

In big companies, the tasks you are given are usually specialized. This does not limit your
chance to learn more as you can always deepen your career specialty. Your decision in big
companies is less likely to affect anything if your job is not one of those senior managers.

This might sound as good news to those who do not want to take on too many responsibilities yet
when you just graduated.

 

Benefits and flexibility

There is no doubt that when it comes to salary and bonuses, big companies is the winner. As
they have more resources, employees would enjoy the privilege of healthcare insurance,
transportation fees or fancy teambuilding hangout. However, small companies reward their
employees in different but not less attractive ways. This usually come forward as commissions
structure, profit sharing or share ownership.

In terms of flexibility, small companies offer and also requires a little bit more from their
employees. If you prefer or not hesitate to work out of working hours, then small companies are
the match for you. This enhances also the close relationship between employees and their boss
which creates a more friendly working environment.

Big companies usually have their contracts
written clearly with limits the work flexibility. However, this is what makes the working
environment more professional and well-organized.

 

Career Advancement

There is no doubt that when it comes to salary and bonuses, big companies is the winner. As
they have more resources, employees would enjoy the privilege of healthcare insurance,
transportation fees or fancy teambuilding hangout.

However, small companies reward their
employees in different but not less attractive ways. This usually come forward as commissions
structure, profit sharing or share ownership.

In terms of flexibility, small companies offer and also requires a little bit more from their
employees. If you prefer or not hesitate to work out of working hours, then small companies are
the match for you. This enhances also the close relationship between employees and their boss
which creates a more friendly working environment.

Big companies usually have their contracts
written clearly with limits the work flexibility. However, this is what makes the working
environment more professional and well-organized.

 

 

Essentials For a Successful Startup

Essentials For a Successful Startup

By: Emily Butenko

 

Many people nowadays are business owners, whether it’s their full-time job or a side project, the number of entrepreneurs around the world rises with every day. Starting your business can change your life dramatically and free you from a 9 to 17 job. Owning a business can mean working when and where you want, doing what and how you want with who you want. Doesn’t that sound nice?

 

The Jane Westman, President of Jane Wesman Public Relations says that starting a business is no easy task. “It takes courage, energy, and determination. Be honest with yourself. Do you have the courage to overcome an endless array of obstacles? The energy to persevere during both good and bad times? And the determination to stick it out over the long run? If so, then you’re in for the adventure of your life. You’ll learn to tap inner resources you never knew you had. You’ll gain a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction like none other. And best of all, once you make it as an entrepreneur, you’ll never have to work for anyone else again.”

 

She presented The 6 Startup Essentials For a Business That Will Succeed on enterpreneur.com that we will briefly touch on here.

 

 

Commit to one business

People who create successful companies do it one company at a time. You need to be fully committed to your big idea. Entrepreneurship is not about the latest fad or fashion. It’s about making a commitment to something that will absorb large amounts of your time — and possibly quite a bit of money.

 

Know your business

If you want to open a restaurant, then work in one before going out on your own. If you want to launch a marketing firm, you need experience in that industry.

 

Join the right organizations

It’s essential to join professional organizations in your field — or organizations that support entrepreneurs and start-ups through networking and educational programs. And don’t forget to attend conferences and seminars. Since there are dozens of choices, this can be overwhelming, so I advise you to choose wisely.  Shop around and then join two or three organizations that are the best fit for you.

 

Create a business blueprint

Most likely you will be using your own funds, credit cards or money borrowed from family and friends to launch your business. Unless you are looking for venture capital or angel investors, you probably won’t need an in-depth business plan to get going, but you will need  a “business blueprint.”

  • A clear description of what the business does and who it serves.
  • A description of how the business will run on a day-to-day basis.
  • A list of your responsibilities.  
  • A list of what you will do and what other people will do.
  • An estimate of what it will cost to run the business for the first year.
  • An estimate of how you will cover these first-year expenses, either through sales or from some other source.

 

You can’t do it alone. Build a team

One of the biggest myths about starting a business is thinking that you’ve got to do it alone. The truth is that you cannot create a great business without help.  Using your business blueprint as a guide, you’ll need to put together the following three teams — professional advisers, an informal “board of directors”, and your own staff.

 

Take good care of yourself and stay curious

“Give yourself a break”. It is essential to take time away from work. Make sure that you socialize with family and friends — and take vacations. It is impossible to make wise decisions when you are consumed by your own private world at work. Getting away helps you see your business clearly — and it makes life much more interesting and fun. Starting a business is an adventure. Don’t let it become drudgery.

 

 

Starting your own business can be intimidating, but people just like you are doing it, with the help and support of their friends and family. We are sure following these 6 “rules” or advice will definitely assist you in whatever business you are willing to start and will give you a heads-up about what you’re getting yourself into.

 

 

Procrastination: How To Tame the Beast?

Procrastination: How To Tame the Beast?

By: Elizaveta Vasiukova

 

Have you ever experienced the situation when you have an important task to do but you find yourself doing whatever else but not what was planned? Most probably everyone is familiar with the feeling of self-blame that comes afterward. This interesting phenomenon is called procrastination.

Let’s try to come up with ways to tame this time-wasting beast.

 

When does procrastination start knocking at your door? Exactly in the moment when you start to feel anxious about the completion of an urgent task. To escape from these negative emotions, you start to procrastinate. For someone, it means doing more favorable things over less favorable actions which require urgency, like, watching entertaining videos on YouTube or playing games on your phone. Some people just reorganize the priorities of daily goals and at some point start to do useful, but less important things that will give an instant result, for example cleaning the house.

Does procrastination equal to laziness? The answer is no. Lazy people just don’t want to do anything and don’t feel bad about it. Procrastinators are different. They want to implement their tasks, but just don’t know how to start and mostly they do it in the last moment. Is it always bad? And again, the answer is no! Why, will you ask? Some tasks can allow us to procrastinate a bit. For example, you’ve been given a month for some work or school project, but you are pretty confident that you can successfully manage in one week. In this case, there is no reason to force yourself to spread your energy for a given time-frame. You can accomplish those tasks in a comfortable way for yourself and allow yourself to do whatever you like.

However, there is another kind of procrastination situation. For example, you’ve been given the same month to finish the project, but you don’t know how long it will take for you to accomplish it and at the same time you find it so boring. What happens after? You start to do it on the last day. You are stressed and tired. And you are literally asking yourself why you didn’t finish it before.

 

To avoid these kinds of situations here are top 5 hacks for you:

 

 

  1. Make a “To-Do List” and write down, everything you need to do tomorrow by prioritizing tasks.
  2. Do the least favorite things in the morning. The one that was given the first will be a priority in your “To-Do List”. And don’t think too much before starting, here is the same system as with a parachute jump. If you will accomplish at least one task in a day which happens to be the most urgent one, you will make the first big step on your way to full self-control.
  3. Find someone who has the same dilemma as you, and work on doing things together. Face challenges together. This hack works perfectly for students.
  4. Do something every day! Yes, every day. Do something small for your task even if you’ve been given a long time. Make a rule for yourself, for example, to write half a page per day for your thesis. Easy right? And at the end of the week, you will have 3 pages done.
  5. Encourage yourself! If you’ve been successfully managing your schedule for a week or day or even some hours, you can allow yourself something that you like. For example, after the completion of your daily mission, allow yourself a chocolate donut with coffee. Not the best example in terms of waistline management, especially if one of your goals was to stop eating sweets. But you’ve got it!

 

 

I hope this advice was useful to you and I wish you good luck on your way to a procrastination-free life.

 

 

How To Create a Great Internship

How To Create a Great Internship

By: Tiina Huovinen

 

Interns: the girls and the boys who make coffee, take photocopies and run boring mindless errands nobody else wants to do. Wrong! Internships should be beneficial to both the intern as to the company. Good management and preparations before the intern begins will help you to get the most of your intern. Here are some tips to help you.

 

Plan and prepare

If you are getting an intern, you should have tasks for her or him. If the intern just has to do whatever comes up or clean up the storage, the intern will lose motivation and feel inferior. Give your intern real work. Create a job description and instructions of tasks. It’s even better if you discuss with your intern before you make your plan, and get to know a bit what your intern already knows and what she wishes to learn.

 

Make your intern feel welcome

On the first day of the job, your intern will probably feel nervous. Rather than introducing your intern to the whole office in the beginning of the day, escort your intern around the office and let her meet the staff individually. Make sure you’ll have time to give your intern proper instructions and training during their first week in the office. Go through the job description and instructions with them and encourage your interns to ask questions if something is not clear. If possible, give your intern a mentor, a co-worker that can help if your interns needs information or is feeling confused about something.

 

Regular check-ins and feedback

Don’t forget about your intern after the first week of work. Make sure you check-in with your intern several times a week. Schedule also time for longer sit-downs, where you can review the intern’s work in more detail. Feedback and check-ins give your intern a feeling she is a part of the team. Also, with frequent check-ins, you can make sure your intern is focusing on the right things in their work.

 

Delegate

Discuss with your co-workers and staff about their projects to find out if they have tasks for the intern. Usually everybody has at least something they can delegate to the intern. Delegating the tasks is a win-win situation for everyone: your workers can share some of their workload to the intern and your intern will have a broader experience, when she takes part in several projects. They will also feel included and a part of the team. And don’t forget, you and your staff could also learn new methods and get fresh ideas from your intern.

 

Meaningful send-off

Saying goodbye to your intern is as important as welcoming them. Discuss with your intern, ask what she has learned and how she has developed during the internship. Ask for feedback on how you have performed as a supervisor and what kind of an experience their internship has been. The feedback will help you to distinguish what you already do well and where you could improve your procedures with future interns.

 

If the internship is a positive experience to the intern, they will spread the good word among fellow students and educational institute. A good reputation as an internship and workplace is an asset when you are competing for proficient and motivated employees. Taking good care of your interns will pay off to you.

 

 

 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

By: Emily Butenko

 

Emotional intelligence is the one part of the human psyche that we can develop and improve by learning and practice new skills. As individuals, our success and the success of the profession today depend on our ability to read other people’s signals and react appropriately to them.

 

Emotional quotient

Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. EQ also allows you to recognize and understand what others are experiencing emotionally. For the most part, this is a nonverbal process that both informs your thinking and influences how well you connect with others.

 

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he’s under stress, or a leader who stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

  1. Self-awareness.
  2. Self-regulation.
  3. Motivation.
  4. Empathy.
  5. Social skills.

 

It can change your relationships with everyone in your life, because people don’t speak with words all the time, in fact, most of the time, people aren’t that good with words. There’s a whole other way of communicating that we use, and sometimes, it’s a one-way-conversation and it’s really sad. Sometimes, someone you talk to, wants you to look past what comes out of their mouth and see THEM. And that’s something we should work on.

 

Improving your Emotional intelligence can literally look like becoming more attentive towards what’s happening around you – becoming more aware of your surroundings. One could start to just notice how people exchange looks and how they move, when they talk to each other, look from afar. And then try to apply the same approach to someone they are talking to at that moment, and not ignore the signals, the person is sending you. That would be a good start. Then, as you form any connection with people, you will start making progress in understanding their emotions and feelings more and more, which will in the end lead you to acquiring the ability to project people’s emotions onto yourself and form such understanding relationships with others, which will get you places and open doors for you through your whole life.

 

 

 

Measuring The Success of Small Businesses: What Else Other Than Profit?

Measuring The Success of Small Businesses: What Else Other Than Profit?

By: Nhu T. Nguyen

 

 

Every owner wants to lead his or her business to success but not everyone is certain about how to measure the success of their performances. As everything continuously changes, it is crucial that today’s businesses constantly keep track of their activities to know what works effectively and what do not. Importantly, although financial performance is the main concern of small businesses, it is just one of the factors that constitute the success.  

Here are some ideas to help your business measure the performances.

 

1.    Define your business KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

 

A KPI is a measurable value that provides the performance information to help businesses determine whether they are effective in meeting their goals or not. KPIs can act as navigation tools to show a business whether it is on the right track leading to defined goals or off its prosperous path. Moreover, when managers need to make decisions, they need information which can be provided by looking at the KPIs. In this case, KPIs perform as decision-making tools that help managers answer business questions and make critical decisions.

As a business, you should be careful in choosing the KPIs to assure that they align with the needs of the organization. If you choose too many KPIs, you might receive chaotic information that makes you feel confused to evaluate the performances. Keep in mind that “less is more”, ideally you should choose 4 to 5 KPIs and avoid selecting over 10 KPIs for your business.

You can flexibly change your KPIs as there are changes within the business, such as new goals or bigger operation size. For example, as a start-up, you will pay attention to brand awareness, customer feedback, and new customer rate while a business which is in the expansion stage of growth might focus on the cost of acquisition and customer lifetime value.

 

2.    Review internal measures

 

Employee satisfaction

As the labor market is stabilized, employee’s job satisfaction is increasing that up to 88% of U.S employees reported being satisfied with their jobs in 2016. Since job seekers can have more opportunities to choose the job that best fit their competencies and interests, though retaining employees is becoming a harder task for businesses, it is still worth being invested in. Happy employees contribute greater productivity, lower turnover, higher profitability, and loyalty.

Speed of execution

Speed is your competitive edge in today’s work world. Review your company’s execution process- how things are organized to achieve the defined goals and objectives and evaluate the effectiveness of the process. If you choose the speed of execution as a KPI, set a clear goal and focus more on the team building and employee motivation perspectives.

Innovation

Many people are uncertain about how to measure their innovation process. Managers can measure the results of the innovations after the team scales and commercialize an idea, but how about before? It is also important to focus on whether the team is doing the right things for innovation or not. In this case, three KPIs for innovation can be group learning, number of ideas, and market evaluation.

 

3.    Review external measures

 

Customer Satisfaction

As a business, you work hard to satisfy your customers. To collect data about your customers, you can use many methods such as Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Effort Score (CES). Possible KPIs to measure customer satisfaction are overall satisfaction rate, customer retention, and competitor comparison.

The growth rate of the market

An unattainable goal will demoralize the team if they fail

If a business is attempting to expand its market shares, the growth rate of the market becomes the main concern. It is challenging to set a realistic and measurable growth goal because an unattainable goal will demoralize the team if they fail and a  goal without challenges will create the opportunities for the competitors to gain your share. You might need to dig into your historical data, study the market, or consult the expert to set your S.M.A.R.T goals.

New customers

The basic formula to calculate your new customer rate within a given period is taking the number of new customers divide by the number of total customers then multiply by 100. Possible KPIs to track your new customer metric is the number of new orders and customer equity (total value created by new customer relationships).

 

4.    Define the frequency of updating the indicator values

 

Depending on the purpose – for which measurement the measuring frequency is needed – varies. You can decide if you want to update the indicator values hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, twice a year, annually or even virtual continuously 24/7.

 

 

Measuring the company performances support the decision making of managers. It helps the businesses keep track of what they are doing to achieve the given goals and objectives. What to measure and how to measure should be planned carefully before the team performs any activities, as well as the measuring frequency. If you are still unsure why you should measure your performances, Peter Drucker has an advice: “What you cannot measure, you cannot manage.”