Developing Self-Discipline For Starting Your Own Business

The American Dream

More than 50% of all Americans dream of starting their own business some day, but only 3% ever do, in their entire lifetimes. In our free market economy, where it is extremely easy to start and build your own business, and where there have never been more opportunities in all of human history than exist today, why is it that so few people follow their dreams into entrepreneurship and business building?

I have studied the subject of entrepreneurship, business and management for many years. I have started and built several successful multi-million dollar companies from scratch. I have read literally hundreds of books and thousands of articles over the years, and taken a masters degree in business and administration on the subject. I have worked with many thousands of entrepreneurs and business people in large and small organizations all over the country and all over the world. I have trained many tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, managers and executives on subjects ranging from sales and marketing through to strategic planning and finance.

Even today, with all of this experience, I really don’t consider myself to be an expert. However, I am a little bit more knowledgeable than the average person and I have some very definite ideas on what you can do to start and build a successful business.

You May Not Get Rich

First of all, why would you want to start a business in the first place? Most people think that the reason for starting your own business is so that you can make a lot of money and retire rich. This is a great idea but it is not the real reason that people take the risks of entrepreneurship.

The number one reason, ahead of all the others, is for the personal freedom offered by owning your own business. There is a little joke that says that when you start your own business, you only have to work half days; and you get to decide whichever 12 hour period you prefer.

In my work with entrepreneurs over the years, I have found that, although they do not necessarily become rich, they do become happier, more self-confident and more self-reliant. Very few entrepreneurs would ever go back to a salaried job. Even though they don’t make an enormous amount of money, they love the freedom so much that they could not imagine turning their destiny over to anyone else.

You Can Do It Too

Someone once said that you can only be a successful author if you cannot not write. You can only be a successful entrepreneur under the same conditions. You can only be successful starting and building your own business if you cannot not do it. The starting point of success as an independent business person is a burning desire for independence, freedom and opportunity. It is the desire to be your own boss and not be controlled or dictated to by anyone else.

But let’s go back to the first question. Why is it that so few people actually start their own businesses? And the primary reasons are fear and ignorance. Fear and ignorance are and always have been the greatest enemies of human success.

Don’t Be Ignorant

Fear blows even the slightest risks out of proportion and paralyzes the person, holding him or her back from ever taking that giant leap of faith into the uncertainty of entrepreneurial business activity. And fear thrives on ignorance. The less you know about anything important or risky, the greater is your level of fear and the lower is your likelihood that you will ever take any action at all.

The good news is that when you begin to chip away at your ignorance, your levels of fear and hesitancy decline at the same rate. When you become thoroughly knowledgeable about what it is that you want to do, you will find yourself with far more confidence and courage than you have fear and doubt. And from that point on, you can begin to make some real progress.

Three Types of Businesses

More than one million men and women start their own businesses every year in America. More people are starting more businesses, selling more products and services today, than at any other time in human history. Remember, there are three types of businesses that you can form. They are corporations, a sole proprietorship and a partnership. Only corporations are registered and the registration is running at over 850,000 per year. The number of sole proprietorships are in the hundreds of thousands. Nobody really knows., You can start one by simply deciding to, this very minute as you listen to this tape, without even registering it, The number of partnerships is also in the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions every year.

Because so many hundreds of thousands of men and women are starting various business organizations each year, this means that you can as well. Maybe one or two of these people are smarter or better than you, but you can be sure that hundreds of thousands of them have far more problems and obstacles in their lives than you could ever dream of. In other words, there is no reason whatsoever for you to be afraid of starting your own business.

The key is to make your business a low-risk operation at the beginning with a high possibility for success later on. And these are what you will learn here.

You are the President

By the way, you are already the president of your own company, whether you know it or not. You are the president of an entrepreneurial company with only one employee, yourself. Your company has only one product to sell on the marketplace, your personal services. So, you are the head of your own personal services corporation. And if you name your company after yourself, you don’t even have to register it to protect the name. You can go out and print business cards with your name, John Jones Enterprises or John Jones and Associates, and your title, “John Jones – President” with your home and address phone number. The next time you are out with someone and they ask you what you do, you can tell them that you are the president of your own company. When they say that they thought you worked for such and such a company, you can reply by saying that, “Yes, I do work there. They are my best clients right now.”

As the President of your own company, you decide how much you earn. Maybe not in the short term, but over the long term, by the things that you do, or fail to do, you determine your own income. If you want to earn more money, go to the nearest mirror and negotiate with your “boss.” Your raise will become effective when you do.

Two Categories of Business Owners

You have heard it said that most businesses fail in the first two years. But this is not entirely accurate. If you divide businesses into two categories, those started by people with extensive knowledge and experience and those started by people with no knowledge or experience at all, you get two totally different failure rates.

Businesses started by people who have done what I will tell you about in this session have a success rate in excess of 90%. Businesses started by inexperienced people who have not done their homework have a failure rate of more than 90%. And even if your business fails initially, it is only by failing in business that you eventually learn to succeed greatly. As Phil Knight of Nike once said, “You only have to succeed the last time.”

On the David Susskind show many years ago, they interviewed four young entrepreneurs, each of whom was a self-made millionaire by the age of 30. David asked them to calculate how many different business start-ups they had been involved in before they found the business that enabled them to make more than a million dollars. The average was 17 businesses per person! But they had not been failing while their businesses had been failing. They had been becoming smarter and smarter as time passed until finally they were so knowledgeable and experienced that the very next business opportunity put them over the top. And this can happen to you as well.

Special Disciplines

To start and build your own successful business you need special disciplines; disciplines that are practiced by all successful entrepreneurs and self-made business millionaires. You can either learn and practice these disciplines early in your entrepreneurial career or you can learn and practice them later. Sooner or later you must become knowledgeable and skilled in each of these seven areas if you are going to build a successful enterprise. And the longer it takes you to master these seven areas, the longer it will take and the more it will cost, before you eventually achieve your financial and business goals.

The first discipline is the discipline of market analysis. This is where most entrepreneurs fail. They start off with a great idea, and often don’t want to tell anybody about it; for fear that someone will steal their idea. So they go off half-cocked into the marketplace with a product or service that has not been thought through properly and they are amazed when it fails.

The fact is that people are far too busy to steal your idea. 99 out of 100 new business ideas fail anyway. People who are operating their own businesses are far, far too busy to have even a minute of time to “steal” your idea, whatever it is.

Ask People’s Opinion

In fact, if you have an idea for a product or service in a particular industry, you should go to someone who is already in that industry and ask for their opinion. If you are really smart, you will get in touch with as many people in that industry as possible and lay out your idea to them in full and ask for their candid comments.

What you are looking for is “negative thinking.” A negative thinker is someone who will point out the holes and flaws in your plan. If you cannot patch the holes or fix the flaws in your plan for a new business, that is probably a pretty good indicator that your business is not going to succeed.

Beware of “Positive Thinkers”

The most dangerous people you can talk to are “positive thinkers.” These are people who will tell you that your business idea is wonderful and that you should “go for it!” They will tell you that this is a great time to start a business and that you will be a great success. Often these are your friends and relatives. But don’t get carried away. The only advice that is of any value to you is advice from people who are thoroughly knowledgeable and experienced in the area that you wish to start a business. Anyone else may be well-meaning but their advice is not worth much.

If you had a sore stomach, you wouldn’t ask your coworker if you should have surgery or whether or not he thinks that you have cancer. This is not the right person to talk to. For something as important as this, you need a specialist.

The discipline of market analysis requires that you thoroughly examine every detail of your market segment before you commit your time and money to offering your product or service there.

The Law of Three

Every new business starts with an idea to serve customers with a product or service that is faster, newer or better in some way. In fact there is a Law of Three that applies to a new business start up. Whatever you are offering, it must be better by a factor of three than anything else currently being offered to the same customers.

It must be a little faster, a little cheaper and a little bit more effective. It must have at least three benefits that competing products do not offer. If it has only one or two, you will probably fail in the long run.

Market analysis means that you find out if there is a real market for your product or service. How big is the market? Where is the market concentrated? Is the market concentrated sufficiently so that you can reach it effectively with advertising and sales? Who are your competitors in the marketplace? Why are your prospective customers buying from your competitors today?

Give People a Reason to Buy

And here’s the most important question: “Why should someone switch from their existing supplier of a similar product or service and buy from you?” The failure to ask and accurately answer this question has been the downfall of many small businesses. You have no idea how hard it is to get a customer to switch from a known supplier to an unknown supplier.

When I started one of my businesses, I thought that people would buy from me because it was me! I thought that because I was so positive, enthusiastic and convinced in the value and quality of my product, that customers would find my enthusiasm contagious and would buy it and use it in high quantities. What I found was that customers were not interested in switching at all. I had to call on customers over and over again before I could even get them to test my new product.

Eventually, I had to give my product away free, and give guarantees before people would even test it. Once I had given away free products with absolute guarantees of satisfaction, and people tested and used my product, I finally began to sell it. And I began to sell it just in time to avoid going broke completely.

What inducements will you have to give to your prospective customers to get them to switch from what they are doing to buy from you? How will you be able to describe your product or service in such a way that customers will be willing to give up the “devil they know,” for the devil they don’t?

Plan, Plan, Plan

The second discipline that you must become very good at is the discipline of planning. What this means, at the bare minimum, is that you must take the time to prepare a complete business plan before you start operations. Most entrepreneurs fail to do this, for a variety of reasons. And this is the reason that most entrepreneurs go broke.

The purpose of a business plan is not to acts as a road map or as a precise guide to the future. The purpose of creating a business plan is that the preparation of the plan forces you to think through every single critical issue that you will deal with in the future.

The very best and smartest business people are those who have already given a lot of thought to the various things that could happen and to the various things they might have to do, should those things happen. The least successful business people are those who have given no thought at all.

When you prepare a business plan, you are forced to sit down and carefully analyze and justify every single penny in it, first of all to yourself and then second of all to anyone from whom you are trying to raise money.

Three Parts to a Business Plan

A business plan consists of three main parts. The first part is the top line. This is the quantity of your product that you intend to sell on a monthly basis, projected forward 12to 18 months. Your ability to accurately project your sales is a key measure of your intelligence and your business ability. Once you have conservatively estimated your likely sales, you should cut that number in half to get the number that will turn out to be closer to reality once you begin business activities.

Remember the great rule of entrepreneurship is that everything costs twice as much and takes three times as long. I have shared this idea with thousands of entrepreneurs who have then told me that they were going to violate this principle and prove that it was too conservative. They came back shattered, like survivors of a battle, with their tails between their legs, finally admitting that the two times, three times rule was extremely realistic.

The middle line of your business plan includes every single expense that you can possibly imagine incurring in order to achieve your top line. You must deduct the total costs of the goods or services you plan to sell. You must deduct expenses like rent, telephone, utilities, printing, stationery, stamps, photo copiers, fax and Federal Express, staff costs, furniture costs and every other single detailed cost that you can imagine. These are called the “Costs of doing business.”

Once you have added up all the costs, you then take the total and add another 20% as a fudge factor to get a more realistic estimate of your final costs. Your ability to budget and project your sales and your costs accurately is the true measure of your business acumen. Leave nothing to chance. Go over every detail again and again.

When I prepare business statements, I will go through and estimate every number. I will then do a complete assessment, with documents, research, estimates, and actual proposals to justify every number in the business plan.

For example, if a person says to you, how did you estimate these costs for postage? You should be able to say that you estimated a certain number of letters of a certain weight going out on a daily basis over a one month, two month, three month and 12 month period to come up with an average postage cost of the amount that is in your business plan. Don’t ever let yourself be caught flat footed.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is the amount of profit or loss that you expect to experience on a monthly basis. You then accumulate this amount along the bottom of the page so that you know how far ahead or behind you are on a monthly basis according to your projections.

You should probably expect to lose money for the first three, six or nine months. The minimum rule is that you should have six months of operating expenses set aside before you launch your new enterprise. You should assume that you will not make a single sale for six months. This may be conservative, but it is much better than the alternative of finding yourself broke and wiped out because you did not plan well enough.

The Discipline of Money

The third discipline you need for starting your own business is that of money. As I just mentioned, you need six full months of operating costs, in the bank, before you go into business. If you are thinking of starting a second income business, you can usually start with a small capital investment and use “sweat equity” instead of actual financial capital. Many people have become extremely successful in life starting from a low base and growing based on cash flow and profits from selling a product or service.

There are an enormous number of successful multi-level marketing businesses nationwide and throughout the world. If you start a multilevel marketing business, your first consideration should be an extremely low up-front cash investment in inventory and sales materials. After that, all your expenditure should be for products that you have already sold at a mark-up from the price at which you are buying them.

Many multi-level marketing companies allow you to start up as an independent wholesale distributor for as little as sixty dollars. In a case like this, you invest your time and your energy rather than your cash, and you keep your full time job while you are getting your feet solidly under you.

If you need money to start your own business, you should be aware that 99% of all start-up money is called “love money.” This is money that people give you because they love you, or money that you provide yourself by taking out a second mortgage on your home, selling everything that you have that you don’t need, and even borrowing cash against your credit cards.

Don’t Count On Banks

Banks simply do not lend money to new business start-ups. The failure rate is too high. Banks are not in the business of taking risks. Banks are in the business of making good, solid loans that they know will be paid back on a timely basis. Banks then make the margin between what they can borrow the money for and what they can lend it to you at.

Banks typically require three times, four times or five times collateralization to lend you any money at all. This means that no matter who you are or what your background, a bank will want proof that you have five dollars in liquid assets that they can seize and sell for every dollar you want to borrow from them. They will look at your business plan and listen attentively to your business ideas. But they won’t lend you any money.

Be an Outstanding Salesperson

The fourth discipline you require is the discipline of selling. You must be an absolutely outstanding salesperson for your product or service before you open your doors or you should not bother opening your doors at all.

The fact is that all successful businesses are started and built by someone who has a remarkable capacity to sell the product in a competitive market. The biggest mistake you can ever make is to think that someone else is going to do your selling for you.

The second biggest mistake you can make is to think that advertising or direct mail is going to sell your product or service for you. The only way that you are going to sell your product or service is by going out and getting face-to-face with critical, skeptical, cautious customers who can buy it if you can convince them of its value. Don’t waste a cent on advertising when you start up. That is one of the fastest ways to go broke sooner rather than later.

Listen to every audio program on selling that you can get a hold of. Read the books on selling written by people in your same industry. Attend sales training seminars and courses and then see as many customers as you can, all day, every day until you begin to bring in sales in excess of your costs of operation. The discipline of selling is the heartbeat of your business and the way you deal with this discipline will determine your success or failure.

The discipline of managing is something that you learn as your business begins to grow. There are thousands of books and hundreds of university degrees on management, including entrepreneurial management. Your ability to plan, organize, staff, delegate, supervise, measure and report is absolutely essential to being a good manager. Fortunately, you can learn these skills by study and practice. And always remember, your weakest important skill in management will set the limit on your success in your business. Whenever you are having problems of any kind, resolve to learn what you need to learn to become very competent in that area.

e Secrets of Power Negotiating

The sixth discipline is the discipline of negotiating. There is perhaps no better program to teach you negotiating than Roger Dawson’s The Secrets of Power Negotiating.

You learn how to negotiate by first of all studying the process of negotiating, and then second, practicing negotiating at every opportunity. You negotiate for better prices for your products and services when you are buying. You negotiate for higher prices and earlier payments for your products and services when you are selling. You negotiate for extended payment terms from your suppliers. You negotiate for better loan terms and interest rates from your bankers.

With regard to money and negotiating, the rule is that you preserve cash at all costs. You never buy when you can lease and never lease when you can rent. You never rent when you can borrow and you never get anything new if you can get it second hand. Negotiating for and protecting your sources of cash flow is the most important thing that you can do for a small business. If you run out of cash, you’re dead. Cash is to a small business as blood and oxygen is to the brain. You must fight, scramble, negotiate and do everything possible to assure that you always have cash reserves.

It has been said that every new business start-up is a race against time. It is a race to find a way to generate cash in excess of your costs before your cash runs out altogether. You stay in business to the degree to which you bring in enough money to pay for your mistakes until you are finally generating excess cash.

Become Resilient

The final discipline is the discipline of resilience. It is the ability to bounce back from the inevitable setbacks and disappointments that you will experience virtually every single day in starting and building your own business.

One of the marks of the superior entrepreneur is that he or she is always looking into the future and considering the worst possible thing that could happen in every area of the business. This is the mark of the superior leader as well.

I call this “Crisis Anticipation.” There are many books and articles on it. What it means is that you are constantly scanning the horizon and asking yourself, “What is the worst possible thing that could happen?” In your sales; with your staff; with your cash; and with your business? And then you think through and decide what you would do if that were to occur.

And finally, once you have determined the worst possible outcome and decided what you would do, you focus all of your energies on making sure that the worst possible thing does not happen, under any circumstances. You become resilient to the degree to which you have thought through what might happen and prepared yourself against any eventuality

Sometimes, a small setback can seem almost overwhelming if you’ve allowed yourself to get tired and run down. You become resilient to the degree to which you get lots of rest when you are starting and building your own business. As Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue doth make cowards of us all.”

You develop resilience by resolving to persist in the face of any difficulties, no matter what happens. Be clear about your goals but be flexible about the means of attaining those goals. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. Be willing to be flexible and adaptable in the face of a changing market.

Remember, as they say in the military, no plans survives first contact with the enemy. No business plan survives first contact with the marketplace. Be willing to chop, change and try something else. Just make a decision in advance, that no matter what happens, you will keep on keeping on.

You have within you, right now, the ability to start and build a successful business. Millions of people have done it in the past, and millions more people will do it in the future. These people are not smarter or better than you are. They have simply learned what they needed to learn and then practiced it, over and over until it became second nature. And so can you. And when you learn how to start and build a successful business within our economic system, your future will be unlimited.

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Innovations, Entrepreneurship and Profit: How They Are Tied Together

What is Entrepreneurship? When we think of entrepreneurship, what immediately comes to mind are businessmen, and small scale enterprise or businesses. Actually, the definition of entrepreneurship varies depending on the perspective used. It may be a field in business or it may be an activity in which people engage in. Describing the processes involved within it defines what entrepreneurship is. Understanding and seeking innovations, like improving an existing product line, is one of the processes in entrepreneurship. But is not merely innovating, this process should be taken a step further for it to be considered as part of entrepreneurship.

The step further would be to transform the innovation into economic goods, something that will generate income. In entrepreneurship, an individual or a group of individuals identify a business opportunity by finding a prospective or valuable item, product or activity that can be utilized for business and generate sustainable profit. When the market value generated by the business opportunity or innovation is greater than the value of the value of the combination of resources used to create the opportunity or innovation, then there is profit. Profit occurs when the value of the resources used to create a product is increased through innovation.

The definition of entrepreneurship lies in a single but most important concept: discovery. Without discovery and innovation, there will be a stagnation in the market economy as there will be no improvement. Entrepreneurship paves way for economic growth, as it supports economic growth through its discoveries and innovation. Through entrepreneurship, new and better things, processes and systems are created, recreated and uncovered. The creation or discovery does not need to be isolated to new product lines or existing product lines. It can also be applied to methods of production, market, resources or an organization or even an industry. Entrepreneurship can provide solutions for economic stability as it continuously seeks improvement and development of our resources to give them a greater value.

Let’s take the following situations as example of understanding what entrepreneurship is. Check out the following situations:

· A stay at home mom who knows how to cook delicious Indian cuisine starts to sell them to the teachers and staff of the nearby school.

· A downsized employee found another use for old vehicles, designs and fixes them, and made a playground for her pet day care center.

· A scientist discovers a new element but does not attempt to identify practical uses for it.

All of the situations except for that of the scientist show entrepreneurship. Remember that entrepreneurship is discovering or improving new product lines, market, processes, resources or organization. The stay at home mom found a new market in her neighborhood, the nearby school, and she took advantage of it to generate income. The downsized employee developed a new use for old vehicles. The situation with the scientist cannot be considered as entrepreneurship. There was no attempt to generate a market value for the new element as the scientist did not attempt to identify its practical uses. If he created a product with the use of the new element, then that could be identified as entrepreneurship.

The High-Performance Application Factor in Dot NET

This Common Language Runtime was initially designed to get the high-performance as per its demand. This article all about high-performance applications in .NET and is not at all an exhaustive discussion.

We will discuss following topics under this piece of article;

1. The key points about .NET that needs to be remembered all the time.

2. Comments of 2 industry experts about this topic.

High-Performance Application in .NET is the priority. When it comes to interest about high performance in .NET there are many points that should always be kept in mind. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

1. Key points about .NET that needs to be remembered all the time.

• Profiling APIs is like giving more granular metrics on memory allocations that will definitely be a huge improvement over other current APIs.

• Most of us must be aware tha .NET has a rich set of parallel programming APIs and libraries like the Task Parallel Library, Akka.NET, etc. The biggest challenge in this area is to educate and communicate with users. Making similar abstractions are very much convenient for the wider community.

• Significant and précised performance improvements are all about .NET since 4.0, which makes it worth in order to revise all the types of assumptions based on other older versions of the .NET Framework.

• Garbage collection is a major recurring theme in all types of high-performance scenarios, which led to many CLR and language improvements like Value Task as well as ref returns.

Variety of interests have been seen regarding. NET and it has increased to a vast array. When it is about .NET standard applications and the platforms for the same, it is not traditionally known by every professional ..NET has opened plenty of platforms for writing quality performance applications. In addition to this, there are plenty of doors that have opened for many platforms like IoT devices and mobile phones as well. These devices offer many options to solve new challenges than regular desktops and servers. NET Core is not yet known by many developers and commoners and hence it is still awaiting more success stories regarding high-performance applications. End-to-end .NET systems have many micro-services, server-less factor, and other containers. Each one of these has the capability of bringing own set of performance requirements.

2. Comments of 2 industry experts about this topic.

Let’s have a look at few facts that 2 famous industry experts have to say about the question that where .NET stands when it comes to ‘Performance’ factor and how does it can be compared with different mainstream platforms.

A. Maoni Stephens – the main developer of the .NET GC

B. Ben Watson – author of the books Writing High-Performance .NET Code and C# 4.0

Enough of discussions have been seen in this area and hence many trendsetters have also been observed.

A. Maoni Stephens – She is the main developer of the .NET GC

No doubt that .NET GC is one of the most described areas when we talk about its overall performance. She mentioned that as she works on it, her answers on this particular panel is going to be very much focused around the GC. According to her, many people may have the common belief that the.NET was and is always associated with only the high productivity and not the performance. There are plenty of products that are written on .NET that always has more of high-performance requirements. Hence, to make sure that our GC can very-well handle every possible requirement, before going ahead with shipping a significant feature, we should make sure that we test them through our internal coordinating team that is capable of handling stressful workloads in the complex world like Exchange or Bing. Maoni also adds that this is the best way that we don’t have to completely rely on macro/micro-benchmarks that in spite of being very useful, it can also lack on representing the performance in the real-world scenarios. You can read plenty of her blogs about this topic.

Most of the customers want the best performance and we have to work accordingly.

B. Ben Watson – He is an author of the books Writing High-Performance .NET Code and C# 4.0

According to him, .NET is already in a strong position and still getting stronger at a rapid pace. The CLR team takes complete responsibility for performance and has also gained enough of achievement with respect to .NET, like JIT as well as the garbage collector. He says that my product has driven some of those necessary changes and it is absolutely gratifying to see the world getting benefitted with this and not just the largest application is Microsoft. The Performance is always the core work and any other platform that is about tradeoffs. .NET gives you some incredible and ultimate features in the runtime, but you have to play by its usual rules to get the best results and obviously to get the most out of it. This best possible level of performance that require the highest levels of engineering and other platforms will also have different tradeoffs, but the entire engineering efforts will always be there without any flaw. But there are also few weaknesses, of course. In a vast online world, where every request matters, factors like GC and JIT can get in the way of extreme performance. There are many solutions for the same, but it can also demand significant effort, depending on how much that performance is important to you.

Conclusion

Plenty of different trendsetters have been seen regarding this topic. We also know that we can run server applications on Linux that represent a précised and non-recognized areas for developers. When it is about high performance in .NET, discussed key points should be kept in mind and views of Ben Watson and Maoni Stephens will definitely be a great help.

The Golden Age For Software Testing In China

The China’s Computer Market 2008 Forecast Report has been released recently. It showed that in the first three quarters of 2007, the software industry in China has registered sales revenue of $50 billion, up 23.6% on pcp, accounting for 10.95% of the entire electronics and information industry’ sales revenue. As the software market matures, people have higher and higher expectations over software features, quality and reliability. In October 2005, Ministry of Labour and Social Security formally listed computer software product tester (software test engineer) as one of the new professions. In only two years’ time, software testing has become a powerful dark horse in the software industry.

Steadily rising status

“In the early 1990s, software industry was still at an infant stage in China. Most software projects were very simple, the whole code writing and development process could be handled by one person. As industry competition intensified, software companies were gradually evolving from one-man-band small shops to software engineering co-operations. Although division of labour could improve software development efficiency and functional varieties, it also lead to increasing number of bugs between modules and deteriorating qualities,” said Mr Wang Yazhi from CONCEPT Information Technology Ltd, a major software development company in Beijing. Quality impairment would not only damage a software firm’s competitiveness, it could also lead to massive economic loss for software users or even personal injuries, such as medical accidents.

As China’s software enterprises continue to prosper, the importance of software testing has also been increasingly appreciated by software companies. Many large and medium software companies have begun recruiting professional staff to take care of software testing. Ms Ran Chunjuan, a former testing manager in Wuhan Superidea Technology Ltd, said that “in Superidea, the ratio between software testers and developers is 1:4. Although this is still well behind the international best practice of 1:1, it is still a great improvement from 1:8 a few years ago.”

Industry experience appreciated

In addition to lifting the number of software testing staff, many companies are demanding higher staff quality as well, especially in areas of professional testing experience and thinking ability. “A tester without professional training can still work out 3-5 testing methods, but not necessarily detect bugs. Even if bugs are discovered, he might not be able to express the problems in proper languages, which could increase developers’ workload. Those well-trained testers can work out 10-20 testing methods, such as boundary value analysis, equivalence classes and cause-effect diagrams, to maximally discover any bugs. Professional testers can also articulate testing documents in standardised languages, thus improving the recovery rates of software problems,” said Mr Liu Fei, a former testing manager in Qualcomm. Many companies in China have now established independent testing departments, working along with R&D departments.

As companies’ software testing knowledge deepens, work scope for testing staff is expanding from system testing phase to unit testing and integration testing phases. “This requires software testers to have in-depth knowledge about the businesses a product is involved in,” said a testing manager from Founder Group, one of China’s largest software companies, “for example, when we test software for banking applications, we have to first understand the specific users in the bank. Some operators only use keyboards in the office, but if we don’t know about this and design it as a mouse-friendly control, banks will not buy, it no matter how well the software works.” Therefore it could be forecast that the status for software testers who possess technical experience and customer demand knowledge will further enhance.

A sellers’ market

“The software testing industry is at a growth stage,” said Prof Zheng Renjie, a software testing expert. The current hot market for software testers is mainly due to the rapid development in software industry itself, “companies are demanding better quality software, which has in turn stimulated demand for software testers. But talent supply and talent training are lagging behind the dramatic changes in market demand, hence a telent shortage.”

At present, software testing talent shortfall in China has exceeded 200,000, and it is rising to the 300,000 threshold. According to statistics, total software tester supply from nationwide IT training institutions is less than 10,000 per year, thus it can be foreseen that the testing talent shortage could last another 5-10 years. At the same time, talent shortage has given leverage to tester remunerations. According to a remuneration report from 51Job.com in China, starting salary for software testing engineers ranges from $400 – 650 per month, and it could increase to $1200 – 1650 for engineers with 2 to 3 years’ experience, higher than the remuneration for many developers with similar service years. As the talent supply shortage continues into 2008, software testers’ remuneration is looking for more gains.

Education and training

The shortage in software testers in China has not only lifted the remuneration levels, not also created a boom for educational and training institutions. Even two years ago, several prominent IT professional training institutions had realised the importance of software testing positions, and organized a few domestic and international software testing experts to co-develop training courses, which have successfully cultivated lots of software testing talents in the past two years. Currently in China, apart from overseas recruitment and company internal training, external professional training is also an important channel for producing software testers, amounted to 12% of total talent supply. As companies are paying more attention to labour costs control, more professional talents are expected to come from external training institutions.

While professional IT training is booming, tertiary education institutions also began to test the water. In August 2007, the first software testing education forum was held in Shanghai by various government bureaus and universities, explicitly marking “software testing” a core area in software engineering courses in China. But Dr Chen Honggang, who had been involved in development and testing of projects such as Windows95, Internet Explorer 4.0/5.0 and SQL Server 2000, commented that although universities can ease some pressures on software testing talent educations, based on overseas experience, professional training will still be the main channel for supplying software testing talents.

Nine Ways to Go From Trashman to Cashman

Don’t you just love those stories that end with “and they lived happily ever after?” We all grew up with those stories. Often called fairy tales. Those stories provided us as children and young adults with a head full of dreams and possibilities. It was too bad that real life seemed to get in the way.

It was less than a year ago that we met Myron Golden. We had flown to Dallas, TX to attend his six figure business school. It is very difficult to try to capture Myron in words. He is a ball of energy, ideas, encouragement, and challenge. If you can’t do something it is only because you don’t know something yet is one of his favorite sayings. (I know I just paraphrased that but you get the idea.)

Have you ever had your basic business understanding challenged? We have all been raised and in that upbringing we have developed a business attitude. Most of us do not have a clue about it, but it is true. It wasn’t until I started to examine my past that I understood where my attitudes toward money and success came from. I don’t think any parent intentionally sets out to develop a ‘wrong’ attitude. It just seems to come out of everyday living.

When you meet Myron you do find out very quickly that you cannot use excuses. He had polio as a child. He has to wear a leg brace all the time. Oh well, you can read his story in his published books or attend one of his many seminars. What you are interested in is how to go from trash to cash. Let me outline the nine ways that he brought about the transformation.

1. Network Marketing. So, does this first point turn you off? If you are not vice-president or on up in a corporation maybe you had better rethink your position. I am fully aware that there are a multitude of rip-off organizations out there but if you do you research you’ll find that there is a larger multitude of tremendous opportunities. Most of us fail in network marketing because we are not willing to learn and make the necessary changes in our lives to succeed. When we fail we can blame them. They had a poor business plan, the product isn’t all that great, bad training, no training, etc.

2. Internet Marketing. You might as well wake up to the fact that the world is changing and so is the business model. If you are afraid of the internet it’s because you don’t understand it. It is here and here to stay.

3. Training Seminars. If you read five books on any given subject you are more knowledgeable than ninety percent of the people. Study a topic and start presenting seminars on that topic.

4. eBay business. I still shake my head at this. It is unbelievable that people can make so much money on an auction site. But they do. That was definitely one thing I learned.

5. Record label. I don’t know how many of us will do this but it worked for Myron. He could write poetry so he teamed up with a musician. There’s a clue. Team-work.

6. Merchant Accounts. This is a way for people who have an internet business to accept payment via credit cards. An independent company who will handle the money for your sales. You can actually team up with them and when you refer someone you also get some income.

7. Investment Business. When you start making money you better have some way of investing it or you will lose it.

8. Coaching. This is the ‘in thing’ these days. Anybody who is anybody seems to have a personal coach or mentor. When you get good at your business you can coach others and get paid for the coaching.

9. Teleseminars. Why go to all the trouble and expense of renting a room at some convention center or hotel when you can have the seminar on the telephone. This is another area of change. There are actually companies out there that have free conference call telephone lines. You can charge people to come or sell your products to those who came or both.

Those are the nine things that Myron Golden has done to go from trashman to cashman.

James Heller

How You Can Benefit From SEO Elite 4

Creative online marketing and internet advertising has become a very popular trend as of late. This is true to the extent that finding unique ways to advertise and get your point across is a necessity when trying to create a presence within the fierce industry of online advertisement. One method that webmasters find works quite well is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short.

What you might not be aware of however, is that you can benefit from all the advantages of a successful search engine optimization training program, without having to spend thousands of dollars to hire a professional – and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home with SEO Elite. Here we offer a brief SEO Elite review, so that you can make your own opinion on whether or not you think SEO Elite 4.0 is right for you and your online company.

Many people shy away from SEO software, because they feel that it is nothing more than a waste of time, effort, and cold hard cash. However, SEO Elite 4 is more than just your ordinary seo program – instead, seo elite 4 is a complete search engine optimization training program that is designed to help you, a webmaster or online content producer, draw more traffic and attention to your website.

But a lot of beginning webmasters do not understand what SEO is and how it works. SEO is a process of creating online content that revolves around a particular keyword or a certain set of keywords. The keyword (or keywords) should be used repeatedly, so that the major internet search engines will be able to pick them up quicker and, as a result, the SEO content will have a higher ranking on the list of search results. And as we all know, if you are searching the internet for information, you are far more likely to click on one of the first search results you see, instead of combing through the millions of other results.

However, one should avoid overuse of any one particular keyword or another, and always make sure your article contains relevant and useful information. If your website’s visitors see that you are putting out nothing but SEO material to catch more traffic, they are likely to find their information elsewhere. There is a balance here that has to be achieved in order to use these SEO techniques effectively, and it takes a very skilled individual to this successfully; a very skilled individual or of course, the software suite that is SEO Elite 4.0.

SEO Elite is not like all of the competitors out there – this is professional quality seo software that really works. Download SEO Elite 4 today and find out for yourself. You will be happy that you did once you see the hundreds (or possibly even thousands) of new users that now visit your website every single day, all thanks to SEO Elite 4. But if you believe this is nothing more than a biased seo elite software review, I can assure you that it is not. You are more than welcome to do your own research on SEO Elite 4, and come up with your own conclusion. I am sure that you will be just as happy with the results as all of their other satisfied customers.

Women and Business: 10 Qualities of a Woman’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

Today’s successful women entrepreneurs are sharp, savvy and highly skilled. Some have solo-enterprises, while others run multi-national organizations. All have one thing in common – an entrepreneurial spirit that just won’t stop.

More and more women are entering the world of business. In fact, we’re starting businesses twice as fast as men, and on the whole, we’re more successful doing it. One of the reasons is the bevy of women re-entering the workforce after rearing children. While many may have previously worked in corporate America-type jobs, they are finding at this stage of their lives, they want more autonomy and control over their work time and work demands, especially if returning to their former workplaces leaves them in new situations that do nothing but stifle their need to contribute in a meaningful way.

Plus the Internet has opened up a whole new world for women. They can not only start, run and grow a successful online business (at any age) but they can choose when they work because the Internet is open 24-7. In stark contrast to their working mothers who did the typical 9-5 stint, today’s women entrepreneurs can easily schedule their work around their family as well as their own needs.
But are all women born entrepreneurs?

It’s true we’re biologically wired for multi-tasking and juggling family and work. However, that doesn’t mean that every woman has what it takes to make the grade.

So how do you know if you fit the entrepreneurial profile? There are certain stand-out traits according to Susan L. Reid, author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success

Here is the list of the Entrepreneurial Woman’s Top 10 Characteristics

1. You have a strong desire for autonomy, to be your own boss, and live life on your own terms.

2. You are an independent self-starter, not needing or wanting others to tell you what to do.

3. You have a powerful drive to make money and accumulate wealth.

4. You are a calculated risk-taker with a higher-than-normal tolerance for failure and consider failure a non-issue.

5. You like to be in control and call the shots.

6. You are highly self-motivated and are indefatigably fearless when it comes to getting the job done.

7. You had childhood experiences as a budding entrepreneur and/or entrepreneurial parents, grandparents, or relatives.

8. You have a high level of energy that is sustainable over a long period of time.

9. You are creative and innovative, a strong decision maker, and able to think quickly on your feet, and set things in motion.

10. You are a big-picture thinker capable of seeing how everything relates to each other.

It is my belief that you don’t have to necessarily have all 10 of these traits in your genetic make-up. If you have the drive and determination to work at obtaining what traits you may be missing, that’s a huge part of the equation.

I suggest you go on a fact-finding mission. Talk to women entrepreneurs you admire. Read up on the latest trends on women in business. Do whatever you can to seek out the answers you need and then dig deep inside and ask yourself if this is really want you want to do.

Make no mistake. You have to be prepared. Businesses have their ups and downs, growth spurts and setbacks. The road to success can sometimes be paved with long hours, heartache, pinching pennies and carrying on when the chips are down. No one is immune to the challenges, but if you do your homework thoroughly and delve into entrepreneurship with your eyes open and your feet on the ground, without a doubt, you’ll find a way to succeed. And that is true entrepreneurial spirit!

Understanding The Gig Economy

Hearing the term Gig Economy recently caught my attention. I hadn’t given much thought to it but it is a big part of what we do as consultants in the employment agency industry. Where did this word gig originate? Musicians refer to their paid performances as gigs and really cool people refer to their temporary jobs as gigs. Put another way, the term “gigging” means having paid work or being employed.

Today a gig could be a temporary job in terms of length of employment. In the employment industry, we often refer to these assignments as either temporary or contract as it is usually for a defined period of time. Gigs can be full-time work hours and other times they are part-time hours.

Well, with our robust economy sitting at 4.0% unemployment it appears that all is well as it pertains to finding work? Many economists believe these numbers to be misleading. The feeling of prosperity is not being felt by many and this leads to the need to take on an extra job [or two] by millions of Americans just to make ends meet. We know by looking at the data that people tend to change jobs several times throughout their working lives and the gig economy can be seen as an evolution of that trend.

In the employment industry, we know that 1 in 5 workers in the workforce is contingent or flexible hourly labor. Many professionals are choosing contract employment because of the flexible work hours, work-life balance or a way to stay engaged in the workforce while keeping their technical and people skills sharp. While employment numbers count W-2 statements these employees could be working part-time or working this assignment until a better opportunity comes along. There are approximately 6 million people [4% of labor force] that make up the U.S. contingent workforce as these numbers have not been tracked in past years.

Capturing the gig economy is important when working to understand the employment numbers. Many employers are choosing a contingent labor force as they look for ways to remain competitive while controlling employment costs and expenses. When marketing or seasonal fluctuations impact sales companies know that a contingent workforce allows them to remain flexible and profitable.

“The gig economy is not new-people have always worked gigs..but today when most people refer to the “gig economy” they’re specifically talking about new technology-enabled kinds of work” I.e Uber, Pinot’s Palette, Airbnb, etc

Companies should know that the growth of the gig economy is a global trend and this trend does not show signs of slowing. People are looking for ways to find balance in their lives while providing for their families. Sometimes that requires a second job. As we look at these gig workers companies should know that these numbers are expected to increase from 4 million to over 9 million in 2021.

Smart companies know that a flexible workforce makes good business sense.

What Makes a Famous Entrepreneur?

Many people are under the assumption that in order for a person to become a famous entrepreneur, they need luck and a great deal of money.

This however is definitely not the case, it takes very definite understanding of certain Universal Laws, formulas and systems to reach a level of fame in the entrepreneurial world.

It is not by chance that a famous entrepreneur is able to continually be successful over and over again no matter what the project is which they decide to tackle. It is their ability to replicate the same systems, procedures and formula from project to project which helps them to guarantee the success they are able to maintain.

Now a lot of people will believe that these systems, formula and procedures which a famous entrepreneur uses will be complicated. The truth be told, they are only as complicated as you allow them to be or as you allow the ‘experts and gurus’ lead you to believe they are.

We are so used to letting others complicate everything in life for us that often we will be sitting with the solution in hand, but will let external opinions lead us to believe that we need to complicate things in order to succeed, it is the ability of the famous entrepreneur to be able to cut out all of the ‘noise’ and follow a proven system which enable him or her to rise above the rest and succeed time after time.

So before you fall into the trap or mindset of saying that this or that famous entrepreneur is lucky or was in the right place at the right time, rather spend some time investing in yourself so as to learn their systems, principles and formulas so as to help give yourself a better chance of reaching your own goals and aspirations.

How Hiring A Virtual Assistant Is Beneficial?

Do you ever feel stressed from too much work? It happens to all small-scale business owners, but there are answers. A virtual assistant can take care of several boring and mundane tasks that take up your valued time, liberating you up to pay attention on matters that require the owner’s undivided attention. From taking care of appointments to management of social media handles, a small business VA can be an unbelievably appreciated addition to your team.

1) Enjoy More Free Time

You are the owner of the business, and not the other way around. There are only 24 hours in a day, and a virtual assistant can radically cut your work load so you can have extra time to devote to the business, or to yourself. It’s so vital for business owners and their staff to find equilibrium between their professional and personal lives, and to solve this issue you can hire a virtual assistant for your business to make possible some extra time to be spent with your loved ones and pursue other passions or hobbies.

So, what are the things a virtual assistant can do and how can you scale your business system? The opportunities are endless. Usually they take care of all of those little mundane tasks that take up so much of your time. Numerous virtual assistants complete marketing research to help you better understands your target customer base. They can also create fun website content for your social media handles and take care of posting duties too. Virtual assistants can also take care of receiving phone calls and replying to emails. In short, if it is something that doesn’t require your personal attention, you can probably find a virtual assistant to do it.

2) Cut Business Expenses

Hiring and providing new employees required training can be quite expensive. When you hire a virtual assistant India to scale your business, you don’t need to pay a full salary or offer employee benefits that would otherwise be required. You can settle a fair payment setup and pay only for the tasks that get completed. Not to take away from dedicated employees who still have a major role in the work place for a small business setting, but you may possibly find that you can keep the size of your business team small while your business grows without overworking your employees with expanding work load. This tends to help to keep your staff morale at a good level, decreasing your company’s annual turnover rate.

3) Get More Work Done due to Increased Efficiency

Some of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs got where they are by means of masterful direction. Every workday is a possibility to scale your business upwards because virtual assistants can make a world of difference for small business owners or a virtual assistant makes it easy to increase efficiency radically. Scaling up a small business requires a lot of money, effort, and time, and a VA can assist you to accomplish your objectives quicker while freeing up vital resources for other more demanding tasks.

4) Finish Unfamiliar Tasks

It’s not always conceivable to hire individuals who have every skill your business may need, and there are going to be times when you aren’t familiar with particular skills or tasks. When you hire a VA for the job, you can consider candidates who are skilled in the specific area of need that is required. For instance, if you need to put together a sales report for the year, and you aren’t sure of how to use accounting software, you could easily find an expert virtual assistant service.

5) Use Less Physical Space

Space is a valued resource for a business. When a virtual assistant is working remotely, that’s one less desk in your office, producing a more relaxed work setting for you and your employees. That means your expenses on supplies, electricity, and other costs associated with in-house employees is considerably reduced.

If you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant for your business, make sure to do your research prior, to ensure that you select the right VA. As long as you make it clear as to what your expectations are, you should be able to find a reliable VA to provide value to your company in ways you may not have expected.

Hiring a business VA could be one of the greatest choices you ever make. It reduces your work load and saves time for both you and your company.