Research on Industries, Market dynamics, needs and trends, current and historical. Understanding the nature of business life cycles, supply and demand, competition, determining real job availability, Skills needed today and future opportunities. Application processes. Preparing for interviews and beyond.
Business plan development, personal development. Implications of Social media.
Skills needed in 21st century
Knowledge is growing exponentially as technology continually transforms the way we live and work. From local to state and national perspectives, global markets and forces are transcendent.
Students of today must be prepared to take hold of life’s demands and thrive in tomorrow’s world.
Joan L. Herman, Chair Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills
Industry Research will explain a lot about goes on in the business world. Manufacturing, production, transportation, warehousing, distribution,
Hospitality, restaurants, hotels, food supply, Retail, Online... The list goes on. Pick one industry and learn more about how it functions and how it connects to other industries. Here you will be able to see trends and opportunities, and maybe threats.
Knowing the Market and "The Business You're In"
Using the Internet and Books on the industry can help you build a good understanding. Trade magazines, and asking questions from people working in the industry and news reports are also very helpful in research.
Scientific discovery methods applied to marketing decision making. It generally comprises of
(1) Market research: identification of a specific market and measurement of its size and other characteristics.
(2) Product research: identification of a need or want and the characteristic of the good or service that will satisfy it.
(3) Consumer research: identification of the preferences,
motivations, and buying behavior of the targeted customer.
Information for marketing research is collected from direct observation of the consumers (such as in retail stores), mail surveys, telephone or face-to-face interviews, and from published sources (such as demographic data).
The main objective is to find a real need and fulfill it in a most cost effective and timely manner.
The Business plan
Set of documents prepared by a firm's management to summarize its operational and financial objectives for the near future (usually one to three years) and to show how they will be achieved. It serves as a blueprint to guide the firm's policies and strategies, and is continually modified as conditions change and new opportunities and/or threats emerge. When prepared for external audience (lenders, prospective investors) it details the past, present, and forecasted performance of the firm. And usually also contains pro-forma balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, to illustrate how the financing being sought will affect the firm's financial position.
Research, Research, Research.
Two crucial areas of your business plan that require large amounts of research are the marketing and finance sections. Investors and lenders want answers to questions like how large the target market is, and how much it will cost to startup and operate the business. The only way you can accurately answer these questions is if you have done your homework. Be sure the sources you cite for figures and forecasts are accurate and reliable. Check and double check your calculations before including them in your business plan. You will need to be able to support your statements if asked.
Describe your business in easy-to-understand terms.
It will include a description of your company, information about your products and/or services, your marketing plans and how you intend to operate and manage your business. A good quality business plan needs to be written in clear, concise language so those who may not be familiar with your area of business can still understand your objectives. Steer clear of industry jargon.
Wait a minute, How about Social Media?
In this day and age, Social Media is everywhere in our daily lives. Used by people to keep in touch with friends, to share and inform. Businesses also use this platform to inform the public of their products and services. Even in the workplace, when used correctly, social media is a great tool that connects people. The Integration of this powerful force on our everyday lives is a very important subject. For now, think about all the time you spend on your favorite. More on this in week 4.