April 30, 2009

Business Development - Requirements

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If you're interested in business but don't want to go the traditional route of working for a consulting or investment banking firm or getting an MBA, biz dev may be a good alternative. The best way to get into business development is by first gaining experience in finance or corporate sales.

The minimum degree requirement for an entry-level position in business development is a BA or BS. For more senior positions, an MBA is often preferred, along with five or more years of previous business development or sales experience.

Business development positions at high-tech companies may require a technical background, or sales experience in a related field. Strategic-planning or corporate-development positions usually require a minimum of two years' experience in investment banking or consulting.

Networking with friends or alumni will give you an advantage getting your foot in the door. If you're asked in for an interview, be ready to demonstrate your knowledge of the company's business and show that you're familiar with its competitive landscape. Be sure to play up any experience you have in closing deals or managing relationships. And remember that recruiters will be seeking a keen eye for detail, solid communication skills, and analytical ability.


In order of increasing sophistication, the three overlapping layers within business development are sales, partnerships, and strategic planning. Most biz dev jobs blend all three, although one area may be emphasized.


At some companies, business development might be better described as business-to-business sales. In many cases, the business development team and the sales team are one and the same.

Cold-calling or prospecting for potential clients, members, or partners is often a task that falls to entry-level biz dev employees. These employees often have to hone their own sales pitch to convince other companies that a partnership would add value to their businesses.

As in traditional sales jobs, there's often an account-management aspect to business development—coordinating a variety of partner relationships and deal types, each at a different stage.


Companies of all sizes in all industries are building their businesses around partnerships—and it is business development's responsibility to initiate and manage such relationships.

Often the biggest challenge facing business developers is negotiating the terms of partnership deals. Getting another company interested in a partnership is just the beginning—drafting a contract and negotiating its terms is a process that can drag on for months.

Once both parties sign the contract, business development must work with other teams in a company (e.g., product management, marketing, and operations) to oversee the successful meeting of the terms of the partnership.
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April 28, 2009

Business Development - Overview

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Business development is a combination of strategic analysis, marketing, and sales. Business development (or "biz dev") professionals can be involved in everything from the development of their employers' products and services, to the creation of marketing strategies, to the generation of sales leads, to negotiating and closing deals.

The job of the business development professional is typically to identify new business opportunities—whether that means new markets, new partnerships with other businesses, new ways to reach existing markets, or new product or service offerings to better meet the needs of existing markets—and then to go out and exploit those opportunities to bring in more revenue.

Since the field is a cousin of marketing and sales, even when an organization doesn't have a stand-alone business development department or employees with the phrase "biz dev" in their job titles, you can bet that folks in sales and/or marketing are handling business development responsibilities. You can find biz dev jobs in all industries—at everything from tech startups to huge pharmaceutical companies. What the work entails, exactly, depends on how big a company is and what industry it's in.

What You'll Do

Your job in business development may involve any or all of the following :

The first aspect of the business development professional's job is typically to identify new business opportunities. This means several things, in terms of what you'll do. First, you'll need to stay abreast of what's happening in your industry—what your competitors are up to in terms of products and service offerings, pricing, marketing strategies, and so on. Second, you'll need to make sure you understand what your company is up to on an ongoing basis—to understand your company's strategy, how your company compares to its competitors, and how it's perceived in the marketplace. Third, you'll need to understand the market for your company's offerings—who comprises it, and how it may be changing.

Next, as a business development professional, you'll need to think creatively about everything you know about your company. This is the part of the job in which you identify possible ways to improve your company’s sales, which can mean identifying anything from new market segments (or individual potential clients), to new sales channels to sell through, to other, related products or services in the marketplace with which your company's products or services can be combined into synergistic, "co-branded" offerings.

The next part of the job is prioritizing the new business opportunities you’ve identified. To do this, you'll need to compare the potential returns of each new opportunity to the costs your company would incur to exploit it. Which means spreadsheets—lots of spreadsheets.

Finally, you have to bring the new opportunities you've identified and prioritized to fruition. In other words, you'll be negotiating with those at other organizations who can help you take advantage of the opportunities you've identified. And, if you're good at what you do, you'll be closing deals with those other organizations to increase your company's bottom line.

One thing you'd probably be doing as part of a biz dev career at an enterprise software company, for instance, is identifying and signing partnership deals with IT consulting firms that implement enterprise software for their clients—deals that will give those firms you partner with a cut of your company's revenue from any new sales of your software that they can bring in. Or, say you're in biz dev at a big publishing company that's looking to deliver a new, younger market to its advertisers; in this case, you might be involved in acquiring a smaller publisher that already has expertise in marketing to a younger audience, as well as established distribution channels for getting products to that market.

Business development involves varying degrees of sales and strategy. In some companies, biz dev people may focus on getting new corporate sales accounts, while in others they may lead new product development. At larger companies such as Oracle, Cisco, or Microsoft, one of biz dev's many responsibilities may be to decide which smaller companies the company should acquire next to ensure that it retains its market strength in the future.

Working in business development is an excellent way to become adept at business strategy while gaining hands-on experience in negotiating deals and managing partner relationships. Business development jobs are also highly cross-functional, requiring close collaboration with various internal and partner-company teams such as sales, engineering, and marketing to ensure that a deal is consummated. With its focus on strategy, biz dev steers the direction of a company—the deals forged today determine what the rest of the company will be working on tomorrow.

Who Does Well

You'll need strong business acumen to do well in a business development career. To understand the competitive landscape, you'll need strong research skills. To analyze new business opportunities to pursue, you'll need excellent quantitative and analytical skills. To negotiate with other companies you might potentially do business with, you'll need excellent people and communication skills. And, of course, to close deals, you'll need the killer deal-closing instincts possessed by the best sales types.

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April 22, 2009

What Does Industrial Plant Management Involve

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Today, more than ever before the nation and most of its institutions are facing one problem or the other that have proved insoluble and rather intractable. the political system is unstable, the industries are struggling for survival, we find it difficult to uphold and practice justice, we are being unfair in our dealings, our industry output is poor, electric supply is epileptic, there is rarely any industry that can produce at half capacity, the Naira is almost worthless that one can safely conclude that the economy is witnessing a depression. The per capital income which rose to $1000 in 1988 is now reckoned to be less than $400. Nigeria as a country has receded from being classified as a middle income country in the world table to being one of the 20 poorest countries in the world. Taking the economy as a whole the situation has being characterized by chronic under performance - a classic case of economic depression.

This paper will be a mix theory and practice. In the course of our discussion, attempt will be made to define management( the bedrock of the topic) and its components. What industry is shall be examined. The issue of depression in an economy. How management can help find solution to a depressed economy.

What is management?

Management as a subject has many parts depending on what part you intend to look at and concentrate. It has been so many things to many men. As a result of which so many people have given so many definitions all saying almost the same thing. It is likened to that old Hindu legend of the six blind men who went to "see" an elephant. One felt the elephant leg and declared the elephant was like a tree. The second passed his hand along the flank, and declared that the elephant was like a wall.The third pulled on the tail and declared that the elephant was like a rope. The fourth encountered the squirming trunk, and declared the elephant was a snake. The fifth felt the ear and declared and declared the elephant was like a fan. The sixth took the tusk between his hands and declared that the elephant was like a spare. So it is with management. It has many sides.

Niccolo Machiavelli in the 15th century with a unique theory which dwelt on four types of management, showing how the "prince" or leader could meet his obligations.

First, through cohesiveness, second by acquiring the consent of the ruled, thirdly, by maintaining his leadership qualities, the fourth toughness.

The concept of scientific management was introduced by Fredrick Tailor after the industrial revolution. Tailor introduced the concept of mean getting and training the right person for the right job. This technique is still practiced by some organizations today.

Henry Fayol, developed a top management theory. He proclaimed five functions of Administrative management; planning, organizing, commanding, co-ordinating and controlling. It was from him that the world learned that for any action whatsoever, an employee should receive orders from one superior only. Fayol's principles met with criticism and repudiation on the grounds that he perceived his "employees" as a "mindless robot" lacking or incapable of exercising initiative.

There was Max Weber"s famous bureaucracy theory. One of its shortcomings is, however, the tendency for initiative to get stifled.

There was the Human Relations Movement Spearheaded by Elton Mayo who built the performance of the employee on his state of mind and body and not on the idea which would alienate him from emotional attributes as hitherto expressed by Taloy and Fayol. Elton Mayo introduced rest periods and shifts into long working hours and got satisfactory production results. He identified certain characteristics which induced better performance, work pacing, recognizing and appreciating "workers" contribution to production, social interaction within groups, discussing publicly complaints among workers and changing working environment occasionally to offset boredom. He concluded that the fact that the employee was seen as an individual, not an addition to the machine provided the key to his effectiveness.

MacGregor's X and Y theories are worth looking at. He believed that the previous postulations on management's perception of people were old fashioned, because these failed to take cognizance of people's educational and psychological development on the job.

X's management's perception of the average man was unflattering. It saw the workers as someone who disliked work, was to be "pushed", "controlled", "directed" and therefore threatened with disciplinary action, if objectives were to be achieved.

Y's theory on the other hand was flattering because the worker was perceived as expanding his physical and mental abilities naturally, did not need to be coerced, was purpose-oriented, learned, committed his time to the realization of objectives, had initiatives, was creative, and expected to be rewarded for his efforts.

Some other people also see management as a bogyman who can make or break workers' hopes and aspirations; the management hardly appreciates or commends good work but only looks out for faults, there is the belief that the people make the money, while management spends it on themselves, which gives rise to the reference of "them" and "us". We also have the total quality concept of management. Quality is a word used to mean luxury, goodness, precision or excellent finish in a product.This word quality is now used in the direction of performance. Hence quality(performance) becomes a variable which we constantly improve upon. There are two types of qualities now, one with small q, the other with capital Q, one is for quality control the other is for quality improvement or performance. We have q(quality control) + Q(performance) = TQ(Total quality).

Total quality is about how the control acts of an organization work together to achieve better results. This involves satisfying customers, a continuous improvement of performance, eliminating waste and excesses, and enhancing the contributions of workers for the good of the whole.

What we have done so far is the review of management theories and techniques which has been postulated in human organizations over the years.

Management therefore is concerned with the accomplishment of objectives through the efforts of other people. Objectives or goals are the final results expected. It is the act of getting things done through people. It is the ability to properly mobilize human resources towards continuous improvement in performance, through the offer of attractive incentives, with the ultimate aim of achieving desirable results. The ultimate objective of management is to engineer the progress of the society by ensuring first, the highest level of happiness for the largest number of citizens and second for the more rapid growth of society.

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March 28, 2009

Plumbing is a Complex Business

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In the plumbing and heating industry "controlled mayhem" is the order of the day! With well over 10,000 parts that have to be installed, replaced, or repaired in an infinite number of locations and arrangements, preparing and organizing for every situation is impossible! Improvising, being fast on your feet, having the ability to access new information, all play an important part in a plumber's ability to solve a problem. In an industry where more often than not, a mechanic can find him or herself alone in a darkened basement or worse- a critter infested dirt crawlspace, it is their knowledge, outside resources, and modern technology that can come to the aid of the conscientious plumbing contractor, reducing labor costs while also increasing profits.

Every plumber must pass a rigorous exam in order to be licensed, but a vast amount of knowledge comes from the task-orientated experience gained in the field. Plumbers with this kind of knowledge make the best "lead" plumbers or job supervisors. An experienced plumber, because of the many situations he or she has been exposed to, has the uncanny ability to assimilate, effectively applying knowledge obtained in prior experiences, to new and demanding situations. Often it is this type of knowledge that is most effective during problem solving. Critical thinking skills help the lead plumber determine his or her approach. A good lead plumber/supervisor in the plumbing and heating industry will take inventory of the many different ways in which to solve a specific problem before deciding on the best possible method of repair for each individual situation. The pros and cons of each proposed method must be well thought out based on several factors which include, but are not limited to: long-term benefits, time constraints, cost, availability of materials, and finally, the customer's approval of both method and cost. Once the method has been decided upon and the customer has agreed to start the work, there is still the possibility that the mechanics will encounter more difficulty than they first anticipated, or that there are more obstacles that must be addressed first in order to make the original repair or installation.

At this point in the process, the supervisor will consult with the individual responsible for payment, as their approval is a must before any additional work over and above the initial estimate can commence. Some conditions may even require written approval. Knowing your customer's spending habits as well as understanding their personal requirements in regards to "mechanical fitness" is very helpful. Some individuals lean towards quick, inexpensive repairs, while others demand only the best possible methods that yield long-term results- cost being no object. Knowledge of both job and of customer is very important to the supervisor who will make all the important decisions on site, reporting later to upper management or in some cases, ownership.

The telephone and the Internet have become just as important as a pipe wrench or an acetylene torch to a plumbing contractor in the new millennium. A phone call or email to the right person can help clarify installation requirements, code restrictions, assist in repair procedures, and help access parts. Management's job is to do their homework prior to the job start date, avoiding wasteful time trying to gather the necessary information with a work crew already on site and ready to go. In the plumbing industry local supply houses frequently have the answers to many of the tough questions concerning product, but when they do not, they have the ability to put contractors in touch with the individuals that do. The next step in this information search is to contact a manufacturer's rep company, which should be very familiar with the products they sell. If they are not knowledgeable enough to suggest a solution, they will refer the contractor directly to the manufacturer. There he or she can speak with the technical department or in some cases, directly with the engineers who designed the product in question, where the insight they share usually leads directly to the best possible solution. At this depth of trouble-shooting, the information gets very technical, and developing relationships and having the ability to access knowledgeable individuals at this level will make any plumber a better mechanic.

Although wrenches and torches remain the stable mates of a plumber's arsenal of tools, the telephone and the internet are every bit as important to the modern contractor in the new millennium. Of the 10,000 or more parts that are available in the plumbing industry, there is none more important than the one you do not have. Having access to a full array of outside resources can reduce the anxiety involved in locating it. Knowledge of your industry is important, but understanding your customer's needs and being able to fulfill them, keeps a steady stream of repeat customers on the books. The ability to organize in an efficient manner is management's primary concern, but being able to react to difficult situations in a controlled manner reduces employee anxiety, facilitates results, and keeps your customers happy. "Controlled mayhem" is the order of the day in the plumbing and heating industry, but a good manager remains calm, organized, and uses technology, outside resources, and knowledge to keep it all under control.

This article is taken from business strategy blog

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