Category: Business

Job security is always a consideration for professionals and employees regardless of what industry or field of specialization they are in. Today’s job market has become not only very competitive but also increasingly a global platform, with many areas of work and specialization requiring talent and skills from different parts of the world. It is no longer enough to simply be knowledgeable in your area of specialization, but you also have to continually expand your skills in order to remain competitive.

Being competitive in the job market does not only apply to fresh graduates or those who are unemployed and looking for work. In fact, competitiveness should also be a priority even for those who currently have a job. Being competitive and a valuable member of an organization puts you in the forefront of considerations for promotions or other advancement at work, so it’s also important to constantly enhance your skills. Also, you may find yourself at some point needing to find employment elsewhere, perhaps a different field, so preparation is a must.

Keep learning

Learning should not end once you land a job that you like. As many people learned the hard way during the recession, even the most secure jobs are not always around. You should be prepared to face any employment upheavals by being broad in your scope and knowledge, and diversifying what you can offer. If your place of employment offers continued training or seminar opportunities, take advantage of those opportunities to make yourself more knowledgeable. Many employers also offer to subsidize employees who pursue higher education, so inquire about these programs and see if any of them fit your needs.

Don’t stop searching

You can keep looking at job opportunities even if you are actively employed. This way, you can see what positions or opportunities are available to you outside, or what qualifications you may need to fill in order to be eligible for a career or position you are aiming for. Of course, there are technicalities and contractual clauses that you may have to honor depending on what your industry or title is. Many companies, in a bid to protect internal plans or ongoing research and developments and ongoing , may require their employees to sign contracts that include clauses that limit them from accepting positions with competitors. In this case, clarify any questions with the appropriate authority, and stick to the rules.

Think global

Companies today are thinking globally, and it would benefit you greatly to also position yourself this way. Are there opportunities to learn a different language, or study abroad for a few weeks? Being knowledgeable of different cultures makes you look very competitive to companies that are looking for international candidates, or considering expanding their operations to overseas territories. If your current employer has opportunities for foreign assignments, find out what the qualifications are and consider the pros and cons of taking on the assignment. International work experience looks very good in your resume, especially to multinational companies.

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur recently starting to make your mark in your industry, you may have heard peers or colleagues talk about business development consultants and how they can potentially help you in further enhancing the effect and reach of your enterprise. But you may be asking yourself if you really still need the services of a business development consulting firm. You may want to be cautious of the perspective that if you are in an industry or line of business that you are quite knowledgeable about and have much experience in, you will no longer require the expertise of a consultant, or any other assistance for that matter.

What business development consultants do is very similar to coaching. In sports, coaches study the bigger picture, looking at a perspective that goes beyond just winning a ballgame to actually achieving something for the team as a whole. Business consultants may not necessarily be considered as experts or specialists in the specific industry or trade that you are involved in, but what they do excel at is making your business more in line with your market, and achieving potential and reaching goals through systematic procedures.

Using various methodologies in marketing, communication, and business strategies, a consultant can help make your enterprise more relevant and reach your target clientele. Brand marketing, for instance, is one common task that business development consultants often perform for their clients. Branding is a key factor in an advertising-intensive and highly-competitive market. The right branding strategies and techniques can make your business stand out, and the business consultant uses market research, trends, and surveys to come up with a strategy that can place your company’s branding message at the forefront of the communication sphere.

Marketing is another key service of most business consulting firms. A lot of entrepreneurs are highly-skilled in their specific trade or craft, but not as knoweledgeable when it comes to marketing the product to their target audience. Marketing techniques are very highly-organized and scientific in their approach, and need the planning and implementation of qualified and competent consultants, online publisher, or marketing experts to be successful especially at the beginning as your business tries to establish a niche or following.

When you partner with a reliable and highly qualified business development consultant, they can bring their expertise and fill in the gaps where you need assistance the most, pointing out aspects of your enterprise that require improvement or reinforcement in order to maximize available resources and increase impact. Also, they can help you in enhancing procedures that are already in place, raising the standard of excellence and the quality of your workforce.

Business development consultants can assist you greatly in laying the foundation for your new business endeavor, and they bring valuable lessons to the table that you may be able to use in this new undertaking. Do not be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone and get professional advice from consultants; after all, you stand to gain when you are always open to learning.

An essential component of becoming successful sales leaders is to provide constructive feedback to the marketing team. Leaders are charged with daily counselling, motivating and training tasks. Members look to leaders to gain professional development through necessary knowledge, guidance and resources to achieve success. One effective ways to interact with the sales team is through feedback.

By asking for feedback, team leaders can build trust with members. By soliciting for advices, the team can get constructive advices to make improvements. New members could be surprised by our asking for continuous feedback, but this could eventually create a commitment and a circle of trust among the members. Communication is critical to the success of our marketing team and without it, we can’t get verification that members have executed our best practices. Here are five things leaders could do to improve their marketing team:

  1. Start the day with positivity: There are many good reasons to start the day with the positive. Leaders can start by asking for things that salespeople did well the previous day and things that need to be improved. Feedback leaders get should further improve the positive experience. When members actively seek out constructive criticism, we know that the team has already progressed well.
  2. Let members say things they want: Leaders should allow members to go first. This will make the team to really think about positive aspects they can get today. Normally, people are very critical of their own achievements. When people start with positive things, they can get beneficial conversations. Leaders with conversationally active team can feel that the pressure has been taken off their shoulder. Often times, members end up touching on things leaders want to say in the first place.
  3. Use the SMART principle: During the briefing session, team leaders should use the SMART principle, which is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
  4. Use proper coaching model: We could tie our leadership style to proper coaching model. As an example, leaders can show and tell employees things they should do. When we provide the necessary feedback, it is important to draw connection to previous activities where we applied proper sales techniques successfully.
  5. Be consistent: Leaders need to be consistent in their feedback. Members are accountable with specific sales activities, so leaders should be responsible for delivering actionable and valuable feedback. How leaders provide feedback can make huge difference between leading an effective marketing team and one that inevitably flounders.

Do you have anything to add to this list?  Let us know what you think leaders need in order to boost sales.

With the current happenings in the world of IT and the impending release of Windows 8, Microsoft may be able to jump up and eventually keep at pace with its competitors. As it is, the publicly listed company is lagging behind giants like Apple, Samsung, and Google. However, since Microsoft is not seen to take a slice of the Android platform, developers are inclined to take the company as a possible alternative, especially since the Bill Gates firm is not in any way connected with the ugly fight for the Android market.

Microsoft had already taken a slice of the tablet pie by offering its own Surface tablet. Although its competitors are waiting for it to fail, stock market investors are waiting for the effect of Windows 8 release. As always, the pessimists believe that Windows 8 is a massive failure although it hasn’t even been released yet. But, investors will have to decide even before Windows 8 is released. If they don’t see any value in the new Windows 8 operating system, stock market prices will surely fall. Currently, the price has risen by as much as 19% this year but it failed in comparison to Apple’s 60% increase in the same period.

Experts are predicting that Samsung and Google will suffer losses in terms of market share and there’s a possibility that the new Windows 8 will rake in a conservative $8 to the company’s stock market price, which represents a 26% increase in share price. But with the impossibility of foretelling the future, no one really knows how Windows 8 will fare. However, there are signs that it will be the company’s best OS since Windows 95. Microsoft is also to set to conquer smartphones and tablets. Windows 8 is said to be the OS of choice for Microsoft’s Surface tablet and will compete against Apple’s iPad and similar devices from Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Aside from the effect of Windows 8 on the company’s share price, it is also interesting to note that Microsoft has huge $29 billion free cash on its coffers. It is expected that the 2.6% dividend yield will also increase by fall. With this, the value of Microsoft’s share price and value will also increase. The free cash is really not unexpected because Microsoft does have large gross margins.

Recently, the company has received a lot of flak for its decision to write down a Quantive’s value by $6.2 billion. It can be remembered that the online advertising agency was bought by Microsoft for $6.3 billion in 2007. However, its purchase of Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion may have been a better decision.

With about $70 billion in revenue and $22 billion in operating income for the 2012 fiscal year which ended in June, investors are expecting more than the usual 80 cents dividend per year. Therefore, with solid cash in Microsoft’s coffers, experts are predicting that even if Windows 8 doesn’t perform above par, the money generated by Microsoft due to its high gross margins is enough for investors to be confident about their earnings from the company’s stocks.

Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) has considered its T-Mobile USA division to merge with Metro PCS (PCS) Communications Inc. This action will leave Sprint Nextel Corp (S) trailing behind them. Once this negotiation pushes through, Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) will gain a dominant share of 74%. Though there was a takeover plan made by Sprint, the tie-up between T-Mobile USA and Metro PCS will make them reconsider these plans.

Though Sprint was able to get a stock gain of109%in the stock market and has topped the MSCI World Telecommunication Services Index. It is still trading with 58% discount to its sales. But the only way it can compete with those larger companies is to buy Leap Wireless (LEAP) International Inc. or merge with T-Mobile or buy some shares with T-Mobile USA.

The board of both companies has approved the transaction with Metro PCS gaining scale of$1.5 billion in cash while the combined entity will remain under the T-Mobile name. T-Mobile USA being the 4th among the largest U.S. carrier seeks to stem losses and gain in order to compete in a market presently dominated by Verizon Wireless and AT&T. These wireless giants each have over 105 million subscribers as taken from June 30 results which is 3 times that of T-Mobile USA’s 33 million. Joining with Metro PCS will add 9 million prepaid customers to T-Mobile USA making them closer to Sprint’s No. 3 slot which has 56 million subscribers

Shares of Metro PCS rushed higher with 18% after 14 months the highest after Bloomberg increasing market value to around $5M. Sprint’s was affected slumping at its steepest level in a year.

The deal Metro PCS is having will cause Sprint to play on the defensive side forcing them to seek one deal with Leap to guard its spot in the telecommunications industry.

There is a rise in the shares of Leap at 17% being the biggest improvement in 4 years, but it only finished at 8.4%. Leap has 5.9Mprepaid subscribers as recorded in the end of the second the quarter and is the logical choice for Sprint.

Purchase of Spectrum

There is another alternative for Sprint and that is in place of buying it could acquire radio waves like the spectrum from entities like Dish and Verizon Wireless in order to widen its network of coverage which is an open to all process giving any prospective buyers the chance to participate.

Though the merger of T-Mobile USA and Sprint is not a distant possibility and even though T-Mobile USA continues with the deal with Metro PCS. Sprint cannot take the chance of having T-Mobile off the table for negotiations, what it does is only increases the pricing if they were to acquisition is to be pursued.

Complications on the Deals

A deal as complicated as this can go more complex if Sprint attempts to purchase the combined entity. It will take a year for the team up of Sprint to T-Mobile even with T-Mobile getting interest in such deal because T-Mobile is now a bigger entity to take for Sprint. Another alternative is or Sprint to make a rival proposal with Metro PCS. Sprint can wave the deal and improve its operation instead through a roll out of its present network and focus on getting a return in profit which could make the company increase its chance in competing. The investors of Sprint may as well continue running the business as successfully as they are doing and it is believed that Sprint considers this as their top priority move.

Failed Deals

There are many telecommunications deals that failed to reach completion. Take for example Sprint’s deal with Metro PCS this year which was rejected by the board. Cost of such move would have been in the level of $8 billion to include debts. There was also the discussion with Deutsche Telekom on the purchase of T-Mobile USA before March of 2011 announcement of AT&T offering to acquire the company for $39 billion. At a certain point due to the U.S. regulatory scrutiny which has forced AT&T to abandon its December offer for T-Mobile USA. Such deals with Metro PCS or Leap are not sufficient in making either T-Mobile USA or Sprint a threat on its rival which are already larger.

T-Mobile and Sprint are not as big as AT&T and Verizon so it is harder to compete. For them to increase their size by as much as 25% but if the rival is twice your size even an acquisition of 25% cannot close the gap to make it at par, rather it only reduces the gap.