How to Start a Small Business

If you are a person who likes to live life on his own terms and does not want to get stuck in the 10 to 6 job routine, then starting a business is a great option for you. But it is not that easy. You have to work hard till it establishes firmly. Also, business is like a 24X7 job which you cannot afford to neglect. So, think about it only if you are ready to work hard with passion. Starting a business is a planned activity, be it a small or a big venture. Organizing yourself and keeping an eye on opportunities is the first requirement. Also, it is advisable to start any venture on a smaller scale, especially when it is your first attempt at a business.

Steps in Starting a Small Business

Ideas

As someone rightly said, “a big business starts with a small idea”, which means that you must have great ideas that can fetch a lot of profit. The idea of course should be free of any illegalities. It should give you an opportunity to serve the people and cater to their needs. Also it should be commercially viable and practical. Once your vision and aim is clear along with the start up idea, you are ready to move on to the next step.

Research

Market research is one of the most crucial steps in starting a business. You must have a thorough knowledge of the sector you are planning to enter in. You also must know about the competition and the challenges you will have to face. In short, you must have the complete knowledge about the industry. This will help you start with proper precautions and will also help you taste the success a little earlier.

Plan

A business plan is very important where you need to pen down every detail of the business including the details of capital investment, type of business, money transactions, marketing strategies, advertising strategies, etc. It will help you understand the proposed amount of money required in executing your plan. It is also essential when you go asking for grants and finance to the investors, lenders, or finance companies.

Finance

Once you have a plan ready, you also have to arrange for the required finance. You have to decide if you want to start a business in partnership, proprietorship, a corporation, or a public holding company, etc., and accordingly have to go and visit the lenders. You can also seek loans or government grants. You can use your savings or apply for a bank loan. It is suggested to consult your financial adviser before you take any such major decision. But whatever way you choose, you have to submit your business plan to the lenders or associates.

Legalities

Once you arrange for the finance, you must invest in the location or area where you wish to start a business and complete all the legal formalities associated with it. If it needs a license or permit, then acquire it before you start. You may have to register for local and state taxes to obtain tax identification, compensation for the workers, employee responsibilities, unemployment or disability insurance, etc. You also have to register your business with a state authority for your identity. These steps will help you determine the legal framework of your business that would help you avoid any legal problems in the future.

Get Started

With the right advertising and marketing strategy, you are sure to start on a positive note. Make sure that you are providing your clients or customers with satisfying services. You can also ask customers to give their feedback so you can improve upon it. Always maintain the quality of your goods and service that would help you retain the customers. In addition, have some interesting offers for the first few days to attract more customers. Once you establish the name and trust among customers, your business will certainly flourish.

Basic Business Management Skills

The verb manage comes from the Italian word maneggiare which means handling (especially a horse), which is derived from the Latin word manus meaning hand. In the 17th and 18th centuries, meaning of the English word management evolved from the Old French word mesnage.
“Management is the art of getting things done through people,” says management consultant Mary Parker Follett. People are perhaps the most valuable resource of a business. But there are others, like financial resources, infrastructural resources, inventory, and technology, whose optimum use is essential for effective business management. According to Peter Drucker, “Managers give direction to their organizations, provide leadership, and decide how to use organizational resources to accomplish goals.”
Management skills are classified as political (used in building power and business networking), conceptual (used in analysis of situations), diagnostic (used in taking an action in response to a situation), technical (domain knowledge), and interpersonal (people skills).
Management quote by Peter Drucker
Frenchman Henri Fayol describes management as a composition of five functions, namely planning, organizing, commanding, coordination, and control. Modern texts have reduced them to four, which include, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.
Planning in management
Planning
Planning involves identification of your business goal and finding the way to reach it. It involves the estimation of various costs that will be incurred and evaluation of the time required to attain the business goal. A business plan has to be documented and reviewed on a regular basis. A plan is worth it if the attainment of the business goal is feasible with the allocated resources.
Organizing
It involves the assignment of tasks and allocation of resources throughout the business organization. It includes determining the primary goals of the business and strategies to reach them. It includes division of activities into tasks and assignment of the tasks to suitable and deserving employees.
Commanding
Commanding or leading is a management skill in itself. A true leader builds confidence in his followers and instills a feeling of admiration in them. He develops in them a sense of commitment towards business. A leader influences others to follow him. Understanding the need of the time, leaders need to be flexible and adaptable to change. They should help encourage the development of flexibility and adaptability in the team members.

Being innovative is important for business growth. Leaders need to be open to new ideas, they need to innovate, bring in positive change as and when needed, and progress. Progress is hardly possible without innovation. A leader should not just dream big but also provide his followers with a framework to fulfill those dreams. Innovation includes both imagination and action in accordance with it. Delegation is another important aspect of leading. It refers to allocation of tasks to the right people. It involves entrusting deserving candidates with work that they can do best.
Coordination and control in management
Coordination
Coordination involves effective communication between team members and across teams. It is useful in tracking activities towards achievement of goals. Mary Parker Follett, an American social worker and management consultant, says that coordination is the “Plus value of the group”. That is, a well-coordinated group can achieve more. Coordination involves integrating and synchronizing the efforts of team members towards fulfillment of a common goal. It is crucial for taking decisions about the future lines of action.
Control
Control refers to setting standards, ensuring that the performance meets the set standards, and taking corrective action as and when necessary. Taking a corrective action needs prior analysis of the causes of performance deficit. Control is best-implemented in the form of able guidance given to employees by their manager. Evaluations are necessary to track employee and business performance.

Coordination and control are important for the success of a business. Business is ‘busy-ness’. In simple words, it refers to the act of being busy in productive work. Management is the process of measurement of the amount of work being done. It also involves assessing the quality of work and productivity.
Business management skills cannot be confined to the definition of any one management theorist. The definition of management has evolved over time and the role of a business manager is no longer limited to only planning work and overseeing its execution. Considering the competition and changing market trends, a business manager needs to be a thinker and communicator. He needs to have an in-depth understanding of his business and its resources. Here, we look at these and certain other skills that make a good business manager.
Directed Thinking
Simply put, it refers to thinking towards a specific goal. The ability of directed thinking is crucial to develop a business idea as it involves logical, purposeful thinking to reach a particular goal. It is an important part of problem-solving, and can fall under both, conceptual and diagnostic business management skills.
Effectiveness
One more quality that a skilled manager should possess, is the willingness to work effectively towards the achievement of his business goal. Management guru Peter Drucker made a distinction between ‘efficient’ and ‘effective’. According to him, performing an activity swiftly and economically refers to being efficient, while doing the right thing at the right time, with efficiency, refers to effectiveness. Good business management skills lead you to the right goals. On the other hand, doing the wrong things or doing things in the wrong direction is a waste of time and resources. In other words, it’s the exercise of efficiency to no avail. A leader should know how to prioritize business activities. He should be able to understand what’s important for the business and differentiate it from what is urgent. It is important for effective business management.
SWOT analysis for management
Knowledge of Strengths and Opportunities
Effective business management asks for a complete knowledge of the strengths and growth opportunities a business has. Knowing the strengths requires an understanding of the availability and potential of the business resources. A complete understanding of the business and competition can help a manager understand the prospects of his business.
Knowledge of Weaknesses and Threats
As a leader, one should be able to understand the weaknesses of his organization and try to improve on them. A manager must be able to identify the threats to his business and fight them effectively. He should have the skill to endure every setback and learn from mistakes or bad decisions. Successful business development strategies used by others can help a business manager devise his own. This is where the skill to ‘experiment’ comes in the scene. Experimentation needs to be accompanied by the right judgment of actions and results.
Business management includes management of all business/organizational resources. And that includes management of money, time, and people. Proper prioritizing and scheduling of tasks for oneself and the team is an important constituent of business management. Management of money is integral to running a business. The activities of buying, selling, and pricing have to be done skillfully. Business management is not a cakewalk. It includes everything from planning, supervising, right up to being the spokesperson for your business.
People Skills
A business manager needs to possess people skills for effective management of human resources. A manager should be able to bring out the best from his team. Difficult people, those with rigid opinions and those not adaptable to change, need to be dealt with. Identification of errors followed by instructions for improvement need to come from a manager. He needs to imbibe in the minds of others that improvement is a continuous process and is essential for growth. A manager should take every opportunity to appreciate the efforts of his team members and celebrate the team’s successes. This encourages them to work to the fullest of their capacities. A manager should have the ability to keep the team’s spirits high and keep the people motivated. It’s human psychology to like getting noticed for one’s work. It’s not unnatural for one to expect recognition for his work. One of the most important business management skills is to be able to encourage your team members, extract work from them and appreciate them for it.
Approachability
Another managerial skill is to create and maintain an open atmosphere in the team. The team members should feel free to voice their concerns and always feel assured of their concerns being heard. There should be a proper hierarchy for communication within the organization. It is a good practice to assign relatively experienced employees as buddies for those newly-joined so that the new recruits do not feel unheard. This way, everyone in the organization has a point of contact.
Communication Skills
Communicating in a way that everyone understands is a skill a manager should have. That’s essential for teamwork and thereby for business management. In the words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” This is what teamwork means. Developing a team spirit and maintaining it through thick and thin of a business is indeed a management skill. Keeping people together needs a manager to be a good communicator. Being able to convey one’s ideas to people, and getting good work done from them, is a skill. Communication should be effective. A business manager needs to exercise his communication skills, not just when interacting with the team, but also when communicating with external agencies; for example, during business negotiations or when addressing customer issues. That depends on your job responsibilities in the organization, but communication is an important part of a managerial role.
Foresight in management
Foresight
It is important in business management. A business manager needs to be able to sense trouble ahead of time. He needs to be prepared for it and plan work and devise strategies accordingly. Foresightedness helps a manager assess future needs of the business and identify emerging fields for diversification.

An excellent example of a business developer with foresight, was Steve Jobs. “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new,” he said. He believed in anticipating customer needs in advance to be able to give them products they would start wanting.
Management is about taking the right decisions at the right time and getting them implemented by the right people. Effective business management requires a manager to have certain basic skills like the ones given above. And one very important, yet not-so-common thing he needs to have is common sense.

How to Raise Money for a Business?

The capital is one of the first things that needs to be taken into consideration when one is setting out on a business venture, and there are many different sources to obtain this capital. It is not necessary to stick to one particular source rigidly; even a combination of various different sources can be used.

Anyone who is wondering how to raise money for a restaurant, a start-up, an advertising agency, or any other small-scale venture should keep these methods in mind. Approaching the right people for it is vitally important for the success of the business, and if this is not catered to properly, it will be doomed from the very beginning.

Personal Savings

This is the most obvious source of money for starting a business. If you have saved up enough money over the years, go ahead and make use of it to serve the underlying purpose. You will not be answerable to anyone, and you will not have to worry about repaying someone. If you choose this option, ensure that you are not using all your savings though. Many people neglect this option because if they lose it, they will have nothing left to live on.

Venture Capitalists

This is the next most obvious source for your initiative. Venture capitalists are professional agencies who put in venture capital into an upcoming business. What they get in return is either its share, or a share of the profits, or pretty high interest rates. It may sound like exploitation, but this is one of the best ways to get money. Venture capitalists are always looking for new and innovative business ideas that are likely to succeed.

Angel Investors

These are a refined form of venture capitalists, but many people think that they mean the same thing. Angel investors are less demanding than venture capitalists and remain with your initiative in the long run. Usually, these are someone who you would know personally, and they are simply looking for ways to get a higher return on their investment. How companies raise money depends a lot on the nature of the business and the method of entrepreneurship adopted. Angel investors also help them by providing some guidance and mentoring.

Personal Borrowings

Here is a method that should be avoided as far as possible. You can borrow money from someone you know, namely your friends, family, or other people. The problem here is that once you mix business and personal relationships, things start to get a bit sour. This is a situation that needs to be handled with great tact and diplomacy, and not everyone can manage to do that. Still, this is a method that many people consider.

Bank Loans

Another answer is to approach a bank for a small loan. With banks, you will not be required to pay a very high interest rate, but you will need sufficient documentation about the business model of your initiative. Along with that, your credit history and financial stability will also be scrutinized, in order to find if you are worthy of getting a loan. Most people would love to get it, but are simply not eligible. This is especially true for someone looking to collect the money, without owning any fixed assets.

Advertising

Here is another answer, but one that requires a suitable amount of investment and more than a fair share of patience. If you can handle the advertising of your upcoming company well, you can get more than enough money to sustain it in the long run. There are some websites that also allow you to advertise your business plan and then suit you up with a matching investor. This is a slightly unreliable method for sure, but it works wonders if one can find the right match.

Other Options

One can approach some small-business investment companies, business development commissions, life insurance companies, or a money broker. The reliability of these options will not be very high, and their demand may be exorbitant, but if you have run out of all other options, then this is something that you will need to resort to.

You should act as early as possible, in order to get sufficient capital and business financing. There is a variety of sources available, and as long as you have a great and reliable plan, you will be able to procure capital. It is not all that difficult; all you need more than anything else is faith in yourself.

How to Establish Business Credit?

With the rapid change in the financial world, everything related to finance is changing, whether it is credit facilities or investments. Steps are being taken to make everything simple, convenient, and fast. There is a consensus among financiers that businesses have different financial requirements, and there is a need to resolve them. One such step taken by these, which may help businesses, small or big, is to establish business credit. This is an option which you can avail of, where financial institutions provide loans, without needing the credit rating or the personal assets of the owner as security. And, most importantly, the organizations of every size and age can avail of it, whether it’s old or new, big or small. Whether you need finance for setting up or expanding the business, purchasing material or equipment, or advertising, this facility is always there for you.

Steps

There are various steps involved in establishing it. The first point that you should remember is to ensure strong fundamentals of your business. Moreover, you should also take care to see to it that you meet the requirements of financiers. Ensuring this would make listing of your business with commercial credit reporting agencies easier.

The next step is to develop a connection with suppliers and vendors. These suppliers and vendors should be such that they not just extend credit payments, but most importantly, report the history of your payments to the respective agencies. You need to have the backing of at least five such vendors, and they should not tie your personal guarantee or social security number while giving you such credit.

Obtaining credit cards for the same is the next step. You should get three such cards, but make sure that they are not connected to your personal credit. Moreover, you should also ensure that these credit card companies report your transactions and payment history to the concerned agencies. However, unluckily, there are not many types of such cards, which would consider approval without checking your personal credit report. In such a scenario, you should look around and search for such a card. Take your time in this step as it can be crucial. In case you are not able to pay your corporate bills on time, your personal credit would nosedive, even if you have an excellent history. Similarly, if your commercial credit history is excellent, but your personal one is not that good, it would affect your business ratings. So, it’s absolutely important to segregate both these entities. Once these steps are done, you can then opt to use these references so as to obtain bigger credits.

How to Establish It for the First Time?

Today, suppliers and creditors are increasingly checking, not only your personal, but also your commercial credit reports to decide on how much to lend and at what rate. This is the reason why it has become necessary to set up a separate report. In case you have set up your business for the first time and still haven’t established it, you can opt to get trade lines so that you can start building your respective report. You may incorporate or apply for a Limited Liability Company so that your business seems to be a separate entity. You can also get an Employer Identification Number from the Federal Government. Open up a bank account for it. Moreover, a dedicated phone line would do you a whole lot of good, but make sure that you list it. Once these steps are done, you can ask for business credit in the name of your company and start building a good score.

How to Establish It With Bad Personal Credit?

Even if you have a bad credit history, it is still possible to establish it. For this, you should legally separate from your business. If you don’t opt for this and you apply for one, your social security number would be used, and your bad personal credit would come in the way of getting you a good deal. For separating your personal finances from it, you need all the necessary licenses, and most importantly, apply for a tax ID number.

You need to start small as getting a business loan is easier for a startup without credit history, in case you have dropped your personal credit. Build it over time, paying off the amount you have borrowed on time and making the required payments on time.

You should not only concentrate on building the credit score of your business but also work on rebuilding your personal one, as well. Ultimately, you may need to approach a larger financier for a bigger loan, and in such cases, financial institutions consider both these scores.

Thus, the most important thing to remember, alike in all other cases, is that you should try to make your payments on time so that you can establish it fast. These are the necessary steps that will help you to build up a good credit score.

Business Plan Template

There are several situations when a business plan is needed. New employees, banks, lenders, creditors, and in general, people who hold a certain interests in a company have a look at the business plan before even dealing with the company. On the whole, a business plan plays a highly instrumental role in giving an appropriate insight to the company’s structure and operations. An annual report however, must not be mistaken for a business plan. The annual report principally consists of statutory disclosures of the company, and is concentrated around the performance of the company. A business plan is not necessarily prepared to scope that entire organization. In some cases, it is also prepared to depict the graph of a single product or initiative.

Format
In order to make the business plan more comprehensible, every element has been described in short here.

Executive Summary
The executive summary is an index cum introduction to the entire business plan. The summary must basically contain two different elements―the name of the company/business organization, and its premises and incorporation details. Apart from these, major key players of the business must also be mentioned. Some companies also quickly summarize their operations, objectives, and specialties. An accompanying company motto also adds to the charm. This is basically an index of the document, and enables the reader to skip whatever he already knows.

Business Description
The business description is an in-depth explanation to the company’s operations and different objectives that are to be achieved in the course of the business. If the company is a major market player in some specific product, then the business history and timeline of development is also included. So basically, what is written on this page includes what the company does, in what time it does it, and in what manner it does it.

Market
The third aspect is the market within which the company operates. The company’s major customers, their demands, requirements, and competitors are discussed. Apart from that, the major behavior of the market from the point of view of global supply and annual demand are elaborated upon. Often, the marketing policy that is going to be followed is also mentioned.

Products and Services
The products and services of the company, their quality, and their reputation are to be mentioned. The pricing policy of such products is also to be mentioned. The logic behind such a pricing can also be included in the financial aspects of the plan.

Organization and Management
The next aspect is the management of the company, key people, code of conduct, departments, and wings. This aspect is to be covered very carefully if the plan is being used to brief job applicants.

Business Succession Planning

At some point in your illustrious business career, you will surely feel the need for an able leader who can lead your company forward to growth and glory. It may be because you are seeking a retirement or may be you just want your offspring to shoulder the responsibilities of the family business. The decision to find a deserving successor can also result if the company is performing poorly and its worth is declining in the market. Whatever the case may be, planning to induct a new successor for the firm is a big decision, and should be implemented with care.

Family owned businesses carry with them a legacy of dedication and hard work. Hence, the succession should be carried out carefully so it doesn’t harm the firm in any way. Here are some guidelines to smoothen the process

Be Realistic
While considering the transfer of your business to your close ones, it is important that you decide the ownership transition a few years before officially leaving the office. You can segregate the different branches of your company and distribute the responsibilities to a few in the family. This will give them some practical experience, and prepare them for their responsibilities and designations that they are to hold in the near future. Chalk out a financial planning procedure with the help of your tax consultants and chartered accountants, that will help you during the transition period. Also, ensure that the tax planning is done in accordance with the firm’s goals and objectives in mind.

Carefully Hand Over the Duties
You may want your first son to be the successor of your business empire, or may be you have plans to divide the duties and responsibilities among your various family members. Try to have a free and fair talk with every successor, convey your goals and objectives about the business, and make sure they have the necessary and required skills to manage their responsibilities. Also, it necessary that the members who are chosen to run the enterprise own the larger share of the company in stocks and other financial assets.

Let Go Gradually
This is the most crucial factor that can affect your stock prices. Do not abruptly announce that you are retiring from the business. You hold a sensitive position in the management, and your every move is closely watched by your competitors and other market players. For small businesses, it may be easier to handle succession issues, but if your company is listed on the stock market, then be cautious about how you convey the message to your stakeholders, shareholders, media, and most importantly, to your customers. If your products enjoy a goodwill among the customers, then ensure that the brand image of the company is not affected. Introduce your successor as a confident player, who can handle the business effectively.

Planning for a succession, be it of a family-owned business or of an acquired business, requires planning and patience. Nowadays, many professional lawyers and financial consultants are available to guide you through the entire process, so seek help if necessary.

Applying for a Business License

If you want to start your own business, the first step you need to take is to find out if you are required to obtain a business license, and/or a permit for commencing the business legally in your area. Usually, a majority of businesses are required to obtain a license and/or a permit.

If your type of business has such requirements, then applying for such a license should be your first step. A business license can be obtained through a city, county, or the state government office; and the requirements may differ from state to state or from location to location. Understanding what you need to do in order to prepare for the submission procedure will make the process a lot faster, which will enable you to obtain the license in less time.

Applying for and Obtaining a Business License

Before applying, it is important that you have all the documentation in proper order and ready to be present for further processing. The documentation would include information regarding the establishment of the business, any kind of identification number that is needed by the national government to recognize the business as legal, any other alternate names that are used for the business, and the business’ physical location.

All important business-related documents should be in place, so that you can provide the necessary ones to the local jurisdiction, without the need to stop the process for gathering other documents at the eleventh hour.

Your next step would be to approach the local government office, and determine which department or division is responsible for operating the issuance of licenses and permits that you specifically require. You also need to inquire about the information required for the application, how long it might take for the application processing, and what are the charges involved in the complete procedure.

If you are physically applying for the license, you need to include the fees along with the application submission. But if you are using the online process, you need to make the payment with a credit card. Progressively, a majority of jurisdictions have started to offer online resources for entrepreneurs who are thinking of applying for business licenses.

These resources may include a worksheet that helps you to understand how to precisely make out the application, how to download the business form, which is a crucial part of the procedure, and also significant information on what all steps are to be taken in order to renew the license. It is recommended to download the form from the jurisdiction’s website in advance before submission, and take some time to fill it as required.

In few countries, it is possible to obtain a business license online, without the need to physically go to the local court house. After you submit the application online, it is assessed. If the application is sanctioned, you are directed to a secure site where you can see and print your license. In some cases, you might even receive the license as a file attachment through an email informing that the application has been sanctioned.

You need to keep in mind that these procedures are carried out according to the local or state laws and regulations. It simply means that there are particular conditions and criteria that must be met in order to obtain a license for your business.

Starting a Private School

A private school is an institution that is independent of the Government, which is run by a group of people by raising funds and tuition fees from children. Though it can be a bit expensive for the parents to send their children to these schools, many opt for them because these institutions offer several advantages such as excellent classroom facility, individual attention, and educational facilities like computer labs, libraries, etc. As a result, they have gained a lot of popularity over the years, and so, there is a need of more such institutions. However, a person thinking about opening one needs to know various important things about starting it. The process is a long one (at least two years) and requires a lot of preparation. Nevertheless, if a person has a vision and strong determination, this dream will surely bear fruits.

Essential Tips for Success

It is true that you have a great vision of starting a school. However, you cannot do it on your own, and so, it is important to form a committee, comprising experienced educationists, parents, teachers, community leaders, etc. It is also important to include lawyers, accountants, etc., in it. Once the committee members have been finalized, talk to them about your ideas about starting it, and ask them for their expert opinions. Divide the committee into various sections, with each group focusing on a specific area such as research work, budgets, employment, advertising, etc.
It is important to indulge in research work before deciding the type of school you want to start. Conduct surveys to know what are the local people looking for in relation to it. The results would help you in deciding whether it should have a kindergarten, boarding school, elementary classes, high school, etc. It is also important to decide how many grades would it begin with; this usually depends upon the finances available in the beginning.
As you are a novice in this area, it would be better for you to look at other private schools. Research into the history of each of them; how it began, its management, progress, etc., to get a fair idea about planning the working of yours.
Once you are done with the research work, the next step would be to develop a plan for it. It should include the budget required, location, faculty, and other staff members. The most important factor here is the budget because it determines the type of school that is going to be started. Many times, committees only think about the obvious expenditure that would come up while planning to start this institution. However, it is necessary to plan for unexpected expenses very well ahead.
Just like any other institution, it also requires the approval of state government. The lawyer in your committee could look after such legal matters such as notifying the state department of education, and also on other legal matters that are essential for its opening.
The next step would be to find donors who would provide you with the initial funding. You can apply to private companies, foundations, and people who do regular charity work for financial help. The committee would also need to do some campaigning to acquire adequate funds.
The next step is deciding the location. You can either buy a vacant plot or opt for an already built-up building for your school. If you are planning to buy an old building, look for how much money you would have to put in to remodel it, and whether it is worth the expenses. Choose an area, which could easily be accessible for students, providing them with various facilities.
The next important step is choosing your faculty and staff members. Give an advertisement for the position of principal, business manager, teachers for various grades and subjects, and other staff members. Look for experienced, as well as potential candidates who have the ability to contribute in a productive way.
Once you have selected your faculty, it is the time to admit students. Advertise about your school in newspapers, community groups, and club presentations. It would also be a good idea to start a website for the same, where parents would be able to know more about it and the admission procedures.

Though you may have big dreams about your school, start with small goals and gradually move towards bigger goals. By taking small steps, you would surely be able to achieve success in your endeavor.

Business Management and Administration

In simple words, management can be defined as the function of utilizing and managing all the available resources in the organization, such as human resources, material resources, and financial resources, so that the goals of the organization can be achieved. A degree in business administration will prepare you to perform this function of management in an appropriate manner. To enter this profession, you will need to get into a business school and get an MBA degree. Here is some useful information on the kind of training, studies, and experience you can expect at a business school during your degree, followed by the jobs that you will become eligible for once you pass out of the course.

MBA Subjects

General Management
Human Resources Management
Financial Management
Marketing
Business Strategy
Economics
Accounting
Business Ethics
Information Management and Technology
Business Laws
Company Structure and Organizational Management
Entrepreneurship
Logistics
Economic and Financial Affairs
E-Commerce & Technology

Management Skills

Planning
Organizing
Leadership
Decision-making
Communication (Spoken and Written)
Problem Solving
Staffing
Controlling
Customer Relationship Management Skills
Negotiation Skills
Team Building

Today, education has evolved a lot, owing to changes that have taken place in the corporate world, due to globalization and technological advancements. There have been new subjects introduced, such as e-commerce, international finance, information technology, etc., and the emphasis is shifting more on practical experience and learning, by way of guest lectures by industry professionals, case studies, internships, presentations, and group assignments.

Careers in Business Management and Administration

A person who has an MBA degree, years of experience in the corporate world, and the desired skills, has the potential to reach the highest position in an organization, i.e., become a CEO. However, to reach such heights, he needs to have the experience of heading various departments, and performing all functions such as planning (setting individual, departmental, short-term and long-term goals), organizing ( setting supervisory-subordinate structures, fixing responsibilities, communication flow structure, etc), hiring (interviewing applicants and selecting workforce), directing (motivating and leading people to achieve maximum employee output), and controlling (taking performance appraisals, attaching ‘rewards and punishments’ to ensure results).

An MBA degree will open up a lot of job avenues for you in the corporate world. The salaries at the entry-level positions are pretty competitive too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an entry-level managerial position can fetch you anywhere between $30,000 to $ 110,000, with the finance specialization being the most well-paying. A senior manager can expect anywhere between $60,000 to $1,000,000, depending upon the size of the company, his work profile, as well as the location.

Management Styles and Techniques

A leader or a manager should be very careful, while choosing the business management styles and techniques for an organization. This is because the success of an organization depends upon the kind of management styles and the management skills which the managers exhibit. Some management styles are people oriented, while others are project or work oriented. Here are the three management styles which are primarily used by the managers in today’s organizations.

Management Styles

Teamwork Style

Here, tasks are accomplished by constituting teams first, and then dividing the tasks among the teams. It is commonly observed that tasks are accomplished more efficiently through teams. That is why most organizations follow this style of management. The different team members bring their knowledge to the table while accomplishing various tasks, and hence, tasks can be done more quickly in teams rather than by individuals on their own. In order to function properly, there should be proper workplace communication between the various team members and also between the manager and the team members. “Team spirit” is a prerequisite for the success of this style of management.

Directing Style

In this style of management, the manager communicates the “goals, expectations, and standards” to the employees very clearly in the beginning itself. The manager is in direct control of the situation literally, i.e., he dictates to the employees what tasks have to be done, how they have to be done, and the deadline for those tasks. The manager has all the decision-making powers and seldom asks the employees for a feedback. This management style is considered slightly impersonal, but sometimes, such situations arise in organizations, such as meeting a deadline or when the number of employees is too huge, that only top-down management approach or directing style of management can bring desired results.

Participatory Style

Participatory style of management is based on the principle of “faith”. Under this style of management, the leadership and management places full faith in the abilities of the employees. The tasks are given directly to the employees and are well-explained to them in advance. Their inputs on the tasks are also given due importance. The employees know how their work is fitting into the organization’s big goals. When their inputs are sought and they are also made aware how important they are to the health of the organization, their motivation levels become very high and they perform better. This style is usually seen in smaller organizations with lesser number of employees.

Management Techniques

Management techniques are those management concepts or strategies, which are followed to run an organization efficiently and profitably. Management techniques, whether pertaining to employees, the customers of the organization or the partners, in case of partnerships, should be chosen only after evaluating the needs of all three. An example of a management technique pertaining to employees is the use of incentives, so as to motivate them, or to provide them with training in order to update their skills. Management techniques pertaining to customers are usually aimed at keeping them happy and satisfied so that they keep on coming back. An example of this, could be the various discount offers that are given to the customers on special occasions, such as Christmas. Whatever management techniques are chosen by organizations, the main thing to consider is that they should fulfill the needs of the organization and also, of the employees, customers and the partners.

According to business experts, the most effective techniques are those that are a mix of all the styles. The management styles that are followed, should depend upon the situation that an organization is facing. In the fast changing business environment, it will neither be practical nor profitable, to stick to only one style. That is why the management gurus, when giving management tips, always insist that only the organizations that evolve their management techniques, according to the ever-changing corporate culture, will survive to see the future.