Posts Tagged ‘business’

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Business Advice From Van Halen

March 11, 2010

By Dan Heath and Chip Heath

Walk into an urban high school and look around at the kids. Roughly half of them will drop out of school. If you knew which ones, you might be able to steer them toward a different path. But you can’t solve a problem until you can spot it, and how do you spot a future dropout?

Some Johns Hopkins University researchers, frustrated by the high-school-dropout rate, went looking for early-warning signs among students in Philadelphia. What were the telltale markers of a student who wouldn’t graduate? Their analysis came back with astonishing clarity. Poring over eighth-grade attendance records, they found hundreds of students who had missed more than one out of every five class days. Of those frequent absentees, 78% eventually quit high school. Similarly, of the eighth graders who had failed either English or math, three out of four dropped out. No other factor — gender, race, age, or standardized-test scores — had the predictive power of those two patterns.

The researchers concluded that the school district could identify more than half of the students who would be likely to drop out before they even set foot in high school.

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5 Reasons Why Your Next Big Idea Might Fail

February 13, 2010

by Pat Flynn

If you’re anything like me, new business ideas run through your brain each and every day. Sometimes, we come across a few particular ideas that we just can’t stop thinking about – because they are that good!

I think you know what I’m talking about.

Constant brainstorming, rapid note taking, and visions of success are all syptoms of this sort of “business bug”.

Many times, however, after a couple of days or even a couple of months, the motivation behind these great ideas just seem to die out and never evolve into the next step.  It’s kind of sad, because I’m sure many of those ideas were awesome, money-making ideas.

If we can understand why this happens, then I think we can stop the momentum from slowing down and start taking things to the next level. Here are 5 main reasons why I think ideas in our head take a turn for the worse:

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America’s Workforce Adapts: What Outsourced Jobs Do We Want Back?

February 11, 2010

Originally Uploaded by daryljames

by James

Asked when Americans could expect jobs outsourced to other countries to return, President Obama replied, “Not all of these jobs are going to come back … And it probably wouldn’t be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back because, frankly, there’s no way that people could be getting paid a living wage on some of these jobs — at least in order to be competitive in an international setting.”

If you view the world economy as a zero-sum game, this is grim news — if each nation’s economy is a bucket of water, and you only fill one by emptying another, we seem to be running dry pretty fast. Fortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. Sometimes jobs slosh out of one bucket into another, but other times, to totally belabor a metaphor, some entrepreneurial genius adds fresh water to several buckets at once.  We may not yet be at the next wave of entrepreneurship (but remember, both Apple and Microsoft were launched in the wake of the ’70s oil crisis), but even as waves of layoffs make national headlines, jobs are sloshing back into our bucket as companies around the world are outsourcing to United States professionals.

America’s national myth is cowboys, pioneers, revolutionaries — not couchbound whiners.  Displaced U.S. workers are not idly waiting for their old jobs to magically return.  An oDesk survey found that of its 70,000+ U.S.-based contractors, 32 percent had taken up freelancing after recently losing a job.

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3 Challenges of Outsourcing

February 6, 2010

Originally Uploaded by Inno'vision

by Daryl James

While the recent technological revolution has made the global talent pool more accessible to outsourcing companies in the farthest reaches of the business world, the corporate convenience is not without its challenges.  Here are a few to consider:

1. Calculated Risk.  Considering that most outsourcing occurs online, across functional and geographical borders, the selection of each individual freelancer  requires that your organization take a calculated risk on an unknown entity.  While using services such as oDesk, with established feedback and activity monitoring systems, can help to reduce this risk, it remains a challenge nonetheless.

2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind.  Because the freelance professionals complete their tasks away from your office and outside of the watchful eyes of project managers, there can be an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality that can potentially add stress to the project.  However, a simple system of weekly checks and balances can help to eliminate this outsourcing challenge.

3. Say What?  Communicating with your outsourcing partners is the most critical aspect of the entire process.  From the outset, defining scope, outlining processes and sharing expectations require a two-way commitment to overcommunication.  For the desired common end to be realized, both parties and systems must lead to the ultimate good of all involved.

What other challenges have you found in your outsourcing ventures?

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Out-tasking or Outsourcing – Which Would You Choose?

February 6, 2010

by Gourab Nanda

Running a business is becoming increasingly challenging. Cutting costs and staying competitive in the market can happen only if businesses get sufficient time to focus on their core competencies. This has given rise to outsourcing all non-revenue generating or back-end business processes to low cost solution providers in any geographic location. Outsourcing has significantly changed the way the world does business; it has been termed as one of the top business ideas of the last century by Harvard Business Review. But what is the different between out-tasking and outsourcing and which one is suitable for your business? This article throws light on the subject and helps you make the right outsourcing decision.

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Serious Entrepreneurs Don’t Do Everything Themselves, They Outsource

February 3, 2010

by Maryjean Howe

Entrepreneurs are bold people who decide to do their own thing against all odds. Often to curtail costs and get things done quickly, they do all kind of jobs required in a business on their own. However, there is a downside to doing all the things on your own. When you try to accomplish everything yourself, you may spend too much time on tasks that are not your core competency. This could mean diluting your focus and getting distracted from your business goals. To overcome this problem, serious entrepreneurs always strive to concentrate on their key business tasks and outsource everything else to the specialists. Here are some of the advantages that serious entrepreneurs can enjoy if they opt for outsourcing.

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The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Various Functions of Your Business

February 2, 2010

Originally Uploaded by daryljames

by John Horning

The term “outsourcing” has come to primarily refer to the outsourcing of American jobs to foreigners. This is unfortunate because it automatically draws a negative reaction to the term. Outsourcing is actually a very broad concept, and has obvious benefits in many situations.

Outsourcing doesn’t only apply to business – it applies to people as well. In fact, we all outsource in our everyday life.

When you purchase an automobile, for example, you’re outsourcing its manufacture to an automobile company because you don’t have the ability to build it yourself. When you stop at your neighborhood “Fast Lube” to have your automobile’s oil changed, you’re outsourcing that task as well because of convenience.

We outsource food preparation to restaurants, education of children to schools, and road construction to the government, who, in turn, outsources it to private construction companies. As you can imagine, there are literally thousands of ways we outsource. Without outsourcing, we would all likely be living in primitive conditions.

Businesses use outsourcing as well, with the purpose of improving their ability to stay in business and compete. Commonly outsourced tasks include bookkeeping, payroll processing, telephone answering, 24-hour technical support, printing, insurance, legal services, etc. These tasks do not typically go to foreign companies – although they could – and with the advent of the Internet, this is happening with increasing frequency.

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