Friday, March 11, 2016

Introduction To Business Experience

The Business Experience
This blog has been made to showcase my work in the principles of business management class, I will make a new post after every unit detailing what I have learned. The way that this course is set up involves three types of examinations based on the reading given, reading test, math test and simulation to test your application of the knowledge learned in the lesson. This work falls under §107 of Title 17 of the United States Code.

Mysterious Surveys and where to Find Them- 
In market research we learned how businesses take information about their customers to effectively advertise to them. Specifically we went over radio advertisement and advertising in newspaper, although we already knew of web based campaigns. This part was really helpful when it came to the simulation because it allowed me to truly experience the feeling of owning a business and testing with focus groups to determine what to sell. The way that market research works is through surveys that ask some information that will target the correct customers and also determine what the customers want. These are questions like "Where do you live" and "What do you buy the most often in grocery stores" the first will narrow the answers down to your customers and the second will determine what is in the most demand, and therefore what is needed on the shelves. The math for this portion was elementary compared to what lies ahead as it was word problems consisting of multiplication and division with addition and subtraction also mixed in.

In product we learned about how to find what products to sell through customer research, what qualitative and quantitative is and how to use it to increase profits and get products to the customers better and faster. This unit is very similar to market research as it involved the use of many surveys to gauge how much customers want what products to determine what to sell. By this unit, I had found out a strategy of going week by  week trying out different formulas to find out which one worked out the best. The math for this portion involved arithmetic and some use of percentages. The sim was simple enough as it put me in the position of a sports store owner, who is trying to determine what to put on his shelve

Location  Location Location
In the location segment I learned how to place a business and look at possible customers in the area along with sizing up with competitors and advertising to the right people. For example, having a store in the inner city you will reach high income people working in a central business district, and if you start a store in the suburbs you will reach suburban residents or less income houses, however it will cost less. In my sim I had placed my business right next to a competitive business forcing us to split the customer base and not benefiting either business, later I restarted my business along a busy highway near the city, where there was little competition.  

For the price portion of the course I learned about prices, margins, costs and the idea of supply and demand. I also learned about the way customers think, for example, if a price is set too low then customers may think that it is faulty and/or flawed in some way. Similarly, if an item is priced too high then customers will believe it overpriced and shop somewhere else. These prices are a very important aspect of business due to the way that it will affect the customers and sales, it will help

Promotion- Traditional Media
In this portion of the course I learned about traditional promotion through newspaper circulatory and other methods. This could also include billboards strategically placed in areas with high traffic. This simulation was actually difficult because at the beginning I had rushed in all gung ho about the quantity of billboards and money I was spending and ended up having to restart due to a  profit of -18,592$. However, the second time I had taken things much slower and took into effect how many people would see and weighed it with the price of the board per week, this proved to be much more successful. 

Promotion- E-Mail
Email promotion tackles the difficulty of upgrading outreach methods to reach a greater people and have a success margin of 1% being considered Successful. In my simulation, I had rushed in and  decided to spam the entire city with emails and ended up being reported for spam too many times and was forced to wait for 6 months before I could attempt to market again. This method can reach a greater variety of people all around the city and can be truly effective if used correctly. 
Staffing is the process of hiring personnel and determining which are necessary for your business. The math for this simulation is mostly regarding hiring personnel so it will contain lots of percentages, multiplication and adding. The simulation uses a grocery store in which you have to hire staff for certain parts of the day, there are two busy parts of the day where you should have a lot of people manning the store, the four types of workers you can have are stockers, cashiers, and salesmen. The stockers job is to maintain the supply of the stores goods on the shelves. Cashiers have to help the customers check out items so they can go. Salesmen help the customers find their way around the store so they can find what they want.  

Social Media Integration
Arguably, social media is the best way to reach customers, as it has become an aspect to everyday life more potent than newspaper and television advertisements. For example, if a person is looking to check up on what they're friends have done in the past week on vacation, someone has to go through all of the advertisements that companies had and might see a restaurant that they like and decide to eat there with their friends later. That is just one example of how strong social media is when reaching out to customers. This is also a good way to advertise because feel it abrasive to constantly be advertising to them, they will simply get used to it and even interact with you as a business owner. One company, AJ bombers, had even campaigned on social media to receive an income gain of 60-80% over the course of 6 months, and later launched their own build a burger competition.

Purchasing and Inventory control
Inventory control is determining how many items to keep on hand while keeping them from running out or spoiling. The key to managing how many items to get is by taking the items sold per day and multiplying it by two, and replenishing the supply once it reaches the number sold per day. This way we can keep the number of goods that people want on hand without keeping the goods long enough to expire. The vocabulary I had gone over were Vendor, which is the store selling goods for retail, Buyer, which is the store obtaining said goods for retail, and stock/ inventory which are interchangeable for the total amount of money available to a buyer for purchase.

Security, The Silent Guardian
      From keeping our digital information safe with cryptography and stenography  or keeping us safe with locks and (if you're important enough) security guards, security holds pivotal role in our lives and our businesses. Specifically in business you have to worry about two main things shoplifting and employee theft, both however, can be deterred with relative ease. For example, in my sim for this module I had lots of theft in baby formula and chips, so I moved them to the front of the store near my employees and invested in security cameras to further deter theft in places where my employees monitor. As for employee theft, it accounts for almost half of theft and can be prevented by good inventory management and a good method of background checks for your employees, sadly I did not have to experience employee theft in the simulation.

The Fibonancial Sequence
      This has been the easiest sim portion yet, it consists of basic interest and loan mechanics. For the sim, you are given a choice between different loan amounts and the interest. In a real business situation this would be going to banks to obtain loans to start up your business, it is a good idea to get your projected earnings before you go out and get a loan that way you can determine if you can pay back said loan and how much interest you can manage to pay.

The Final Countdown
     Over the last few weeks I have toiled over my computer, running the final sim and failing. On my eighth try I finally succeeded in starting a business that would continue to gain profit constantly. While running the sim I had to constantly juggle everything else mentioned in this blog, from making sure the customers were happy with my price to making sure I had a product to sell. The first few weeks of my business it was like starting to ride a bicycle, and my business needed momentum to get started, and I needed to get my name out there. Later, I realized that my most sold item was milk and I built an ad campaign around milk, this caused my business to skyrocket and from their it was relatively easy, 7 times later.