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Information Systems Development

When it comes to accomplishing information technology (IT) task within an organization, there is the option of insourcing, selfsourcing, and outsourcing. Insourcing means to use individuals within the organization to complete the task. Selfsourcing is using system supports by knowledge workers. Outsourcing is when an organization chooses to use third party companies or individuals to complete the task. Organizational IT outsourcing is growing at an exceptional rate. Organizations may seek outsourcing services from individuals throughout the globe. In order to find the best individuals for the task, outsourcing may be an effective solution that could save cost and time by providing resources and capabilities outside of the organizations structure. Outsourced companies or individuals can be used to cut cost, save time, or be used for their extensive background and technical abilities. In addition, outsourcing allows for organizations to potentially acquire leading-edge technology that they would not otherwise have without purchasing and training employees to use the systems. Outsourcing allows for organizations to focus their resources on task that matter most and are their core competencies. Other benefits of outsourcing include, lowering development cost, hiring the best talent for the job, and gaining a higher quality of work.
 
Short cycle time systems development involves creating and completing task quickly for organizations. A benefit of this type of structure is that new products and innovation are brought to the marketplace sooner and can help organizations benefit by having a competitive advantage. Concerns with outsourcing short cycle time systems include privacy, security, and potential loss of in-house resources. In addition, the quick reaction allows the development of new products and services to align with market and environment changes. A disadvantage of producing products or services quickly is that the quality may suffer. Furthermore, using outsourced individuals, could also present legal issues, financial setbacks, and provide limited control over outcomes.
 
To try and mitigate the damages of outsourcing, organizations may use service level agreement (SLA) contracts with the vendors, which ensure with penalties that they receive the desired performance and expectations. Other disadvantages of outsourcing include the cultural differences. Outsourcing is often between organizations with different backgrounds, language, and cultural differences. For organizations to outsource effectively, they should implement corporate policy, which protects privacy and data security of individuals. While cost reduction is a valuable benefit to have, organizations should be aware of outsourced individuals who may have hidden cost associated with the work they provide.

Financial success of starting a business

A successful business could earn you lots of money. Arianna Huffington, the founder of HuffingtonPost, has an estimated net worth of $100 million. Richard Branson, the entrepreneur behind Virgin, had a net worth of $4.3 billion. Then there’s Bill Gates, who started Microsoft. He’s sitting at a nice $115 billion.

Money is a big reason that many people start businesses. The International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal study I mentioned earlier points out that, across the 29 countries examined, an average of 23% of entrepreneurs are in it (at least in part) to increase their wealth. The main takeaway is that lots of people start businesses because they want to make money.

Of course, money isn’t everything, so wealth isn’t the only motivation that these entrepreneurs have. It’s just one reason among many. Even if you do care a lot about money, it’s true that most people, even most successful entrepreneurs, will not reach the stratospheric wealth of Huffington, Branson, and Gates. But respectable amounts of money do matter, and might even make you happier.

It’s said that money doesn’t buy happiness, but that old adage doesn’t quite jibe with modern research. Some scholars say that after a certain amount of income, more money doesn’t make you happier. But even they conceded that up until that point, more money does help.

But, no matter how much you care about money, it isn’t the only reason to think about starting a business.

Financial risks of starting a business

One of the biggest fears people have before starting their own business is financial risk. Out of those who hope to start businesses, 35 percent said they’re worried about inconsistent income, and 27 percent are worried about earning less money. Seventy-two percent expect to earn more money than they did when traditionally employed. They’re in for a rude awakening. According to research data, only 55 percent actually did earn more money by becoming an entrepreneur. You have to keep your financial expectations in check when starting a new business. Not only is there a very real possibility that it may not be lucrative, but you’ll probably lose money, especially in the beginning.

Only about half of small businesses, 45-51 percent according to the Small Business Association, survive the first five years. For entrepreneurs who do make it, only half reported experiencing more career certainty. The data shows that median small-business revenue declined more than 13 percent over the past two years. This certainly points to a general lack of stability for new businesses.

Amidst all this uncertainty, you have to think carefully about money before you start a business. Budgeting and saving more can help, but you also may have to rely on outside support systems like your spouse or alternative sources of income like ride sharing or delivery services.

New business equals new stress

It may seem intuitive that when you’re not answering to a boss, you’ll have more control over day-to-day activities and less stress. Research shows that’s not the case though. According to a study, 64 percent of workers expected to be less stressed after starting their own business. However, only 55 percent actually ended up that way.

Building a business from the ground up is a lot of work. You’re likely going to be more invested in its success than you would working for someone else. You also might not have as much time for your personal life as you’d like. Most entrepreneurs I meet say they’re almost always on the clock, because there’s so often something to do. Many founders never had experience managing their own hours, much less those of others in prior jobs, so they struggle to do it as they run a company for the first time.

You also run into problems far from your field of expertise that you never had to consider while working for someone else. In fact, 44 percent of self-employed people said they performed a much wider variety of tasks on a daily basis than they did working for someone else. You can expect that you may need to become CEO, Marketing expert, Finance manager, HR, and a Graphic Designer extraordinaire just to start and operate your business.

Why you should not start a business

According to recent research, 24 million Americans want to become their own boss in the next year, but they may not really know what they’re getting themselves into. From data collected from more than 3,700 American workers, it was found many of these workers had recently become small-business owners or wanted to become one. It turns out many budding entrepreneurs have high expectations, but lack being realistic about what it takes to start and grow a business.

The data shows that people anticipate better work-life balance once they start a business. They think they’ll be healthier and less stressed. At the same time, they expect to earn more money and have more career certainty. This doesn’t always happen of course. If you plan to start a business, you have to be cautious and prepare for the reality that you may need to work harder without getting everything you thought you would.

Should you start a business?

I’m sure you already know that launching a business can be an intimidating process requiring tons of hard work. And, the question of should you start a business has been lingering with you day and night.

Maybe you’re just unhappy with your current position. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of starting your own business, or maybe you just need a drastic change in your life. I could suggest a long list of reasons as to why someone decided to start a business. I’ve heard them all.

But, the most important determining factor for starting a business is whether you have the passion and motivation to start that journey.

If you have that one business idea that stays with you that you’ve completely fallen in love with, with a desire to turn it into a reality, then it may be time to launch that dream.

However, you must also be ready for the hard work that’s involved. To be an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to be truly passionate about what you do and will do everything possible to turn your vision into a product or service for the rest of the world to enjoy.

If you sit around often daydreaming about starting your own business, or are stuck on what’s next in the process after you’ve come up with your great business idea, this is the course for you. And I look forward to helping you start, grow, and manage that new business venture.

Let me help you gain new customers

I know that you have a great business with great ideas to gain new customers. But sometimes, as business owners, we get overwhelmed with trying to do everything including sales, billing, collections, customer service, HR, and then fail to do what we love most.

Let me and my team help you by doing the research and analysis, which will give you a solid plan to follow and will help present your business or idea properly to customers, investors, or as a blueprint for you and/or your team to follow. We can help you identify marketing opportunities, minimize risks, and discover the true potential of your business and product/service.

Market research is an invaluable investment that helps save money by eliminating guess marketing. Me and my team of MBA and DBA researchers and writers work tirelessly for our customers to develop and conduct Marketing Strategies, Business Plans, Investor Pitch Decks, Grant Writing/Proposals, and general Market Research.

The main items we include in our research plans and strategies include:
– Industry/Market Overview
– Competitor Analysis
– Customer Insight
– Growth Opportunities
– Business Recommendations

The resources, time, and finances you spend on hiring us to develop your business plan and complete analysis will come back to you many times over in dollars earned and failures avoided.

Organizational Stress: Positive or Negative?

I consider occupational stress negative and generated by a lack of productivity, which can be triggered in the work area by factors including disruptive technology, communication, and a competitive environment (Mitut, 2010). Stress is known to affect employees and employers’ ability to work efficiently (Mitut, 2010). Work overload, uncertainty of future employment, punishment, lack of feedback, and powerlessness are additional causes of stress and can lead to imbalances between employer and employee (Mitut, 2010; Selart, & Johansen, 2011).

Stressful organizational situations have a large negative impact particularly in situations that involve punishment and lack of rewards (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Stress can cause decision makers to cut corners, become more prone to incidents, abuse, and deception (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Several studies have connected stress to memory loss due to an increase in cortisol production. Moreover, employees can often respond to stress in a negative manner, and stress is known to lead to unethical decision making (Selart, & Johansen, 2011).

Data from a study conducted in 2003 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions entitled “Working Conditions in the Acceding and Candidate Countries (Report)” explains that stress is the second largest health problem within work organizations, with 22% of organizational members reporting having been affected by occupational stress (Mitut, 2010).

The main causes of occupational stress according to Mitut (2010) are caused by:

  • Unstable conditions for work activity, which can cause job insecurity.
  • Dissatisfaction – common in crisis situations where job restructuring results in a higher level of stress.
  • Work hassle – dealing with situations that damage self-esteem and depression. Can be caused by violence and intimidation.
  • Imbalance of time – caused by work overload, which affects the time for personal desires and needs.
  • In addition to emotional stress, stress can generate high cost for an organizations (Mitut, 2010). Stress causes financial loss for organizations, as
  • well as absenteeism, decreased productivity, accidents, legal cost, medical expenses, and staff replacement (Mitut, 2010).

Organizational stress can be assessed by implementing stress management programs, which will teach employees techniques for preventing and coping with stressful situations (Mitut, 2010). Stress can be minimized by providing employees with roles that are clearly defined and encouraging communication between manager, employee and other departments (Mitut, 2010). Manager and employee meetings can also be implemented in order to discuss employee expectations, roles, and concerns. By promoting motivational strategies that influence esteem, security, social, and self-achievement, organizational members could feel less stressful within the work environment (Mitut, 2010).

I often experience organizational stress throughout my normal workday as a marketing consultant. However, I consider stress to be a normal part of my job and I have been able to adjust easily by simply taking a time-out. By putting the stressful task aside and doing some mental problem-solving, I tend to find solutions to my problems and release the stress by taking a break. A break could either be a walk outside to get fresh air, a nap, or simply getting away from my desk and pacing in my office. The goal for me is to remove stress by occupying my time and doing something other than the stressful task. In addition, I use similar techniques when dealing with stressful clients, outsourced workers, and businesses.

Success of an organizational depends on not disturbing occupational stresses that can create frustrations, low motivations, personal conflicts, dissatisfaction, and a drop in productivity (Mitut, 2010). The manager is responsible for reducing the effects of stress and creating an organization that is efficient and stress-free, and that focuses on maintaining and building the organizations performance (Mitut, 2010). As a manager, my role would be crucial in preventing stress. To properly control the climate of the organization, I would try to seek relationships with employees in order to better understand their personal stressors and work capabilities. It would be my responsibility to remain with a positive attitude and be a motivational influence to the employees. Being able to control the climate, I would need to create jobs that are compatible with employees and prevent work overload (Mitut, 2010).
Credits

Selart, M., & Johansen, S. (2011). Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: The Role of Leadership Stress. Journal Of Business Ethics, 99(2), 129-143. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0649-0

Mitut, I. (2010). Managerial investment on organizational stress. Romanian Economic and Business Review, 5(3), 89–99. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1150119513?accountid=14872

Destroying your to-do list

As a business owner, are you among the 11% of people who finish their to-do lists each day? That’s right, only 11%. The real question is, why has the to-do list become such a menace to the other 89% of society?

I believe it’s because to-do lists inherently work against you. Without prioritization or context, they wreak havoc on your day — especially if you’re running a business or overseeing teams of people.

And speaking of those people… if you’re a leader or supervisor of any kind, your team needs you. But in all likelihood, they are also constantly interrupting you. So are all those dings from your smartphone. (Let’s not even get started on your email inbox!)

Your clients and investors should be getting your time, but a mountain of priority-less interruptions and to-dos are getting it instead. That needs to change; I want to show you how it can.

You literally cannot afford for your productivity to be held down by ineffective tools or held back by distractions. You don’t need to destroy your to-do lists. You just need to redeem them and get back to the real work of your business.

Leader-Member Exchange

Leader-member exchange is when a relationship is created between task behavior and relationship behavior (Graeff, 1997). Leader-member exchange originates from research and literature on transformational leadership. The formalization of the Leader-member Exchange theory stems from “Vertical Dyad Linkage (VDL), a notion developed by Dansereau, Graen, and Haga in 1975, with their paper, “A Vertical Dyad approach to leadership within formal organizations”  (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Leader-member exchange theory asserts that relationships between leader and follower will likely motivate followers to commit to organizations and leaders’ goals. This type of leadership is said to potentially elevate knowledge sharing between leader and follower. Leader-member exchange and knowledge sharing are considered to be positively linked with creative work involvement. In business, employees tend to enjoy a leader-member exchange relationship with high-quality. This type of leadership allows employees to engage in open and creative work processes and encourages climate perceptions (Hassanzadeh, 2014). A leader-member exchange relationship requires both leader and follower to agree and accept shared goals that will fulfill mutual interest (Graen, & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Hassanzadeh, 2014).

Leader-member exchange theory focuses on the relationship between the leader and follower (Northouse, 2013). The theory is that followers and leaders develop exchange relationships that positively alter the impact of organizational outcomes. A leader-member exchange occurs when leaders and followers develop a relationship that results in mutual interest being satisfied (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Within organizations, there are considered hierarchy’s labeled as in-group and out-groups. The groups are determined by how well the leader and follower work together. Followers that are favored by the leader are placed into the in-group, and followers that are not favored by the leader our placed within the out-group. To become favored, the follower must express their organizational dedication to the leader by exchanging activities that go beyond the normal job description (Northouse, 2013, p. 163). A leader-member exchange relationship is not designed to intentionally create inequalities. However, the style and favor system has created a questionable situation. (Northouse, 2013, p. 171)

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