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Introduction to Business

Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

Introduction to BusinessPreparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

  1. Suppose you are considering two job offers for a computer programming position, one at a two-year-old consulting firm with 10 employees owned by a sole proprietor and one at a publicly traded software developer with sales of $500 million. In addition to comparing the specific job responsibilities, consider the following:

    • Which company offers better training? Do you prefer the on-the-job training you’ll get at the small company, or do you want formal training programs as well?
    • Which position offers the chance to work on a variety of assignments?
    • What are the opportunities for advancement? Employee benefits?
    • What happens if the owner of the young company gets sick or decides to sell the company?
    • Which company offers a better working environment for you?

    Answering these and similar questions will help you decide which job meets your particular needs. (Resources, Information)

  2. Before starting your own company, you should know the legal requirements in your area. Call the appropriate city or county departments, such as licensing, health, and zoning, to find out what licenses and permits you need and any other requirements you must meet. Do the requirements vary depending on the type of company? Are there restrictions on starting a home-based business? Contact your secretary of state or other agency that handles corporations to get information on how to incorporate. (Information)
  3. Bridget Jones wants to open her own business selling her handmade chocolates over the internet. Although she has some money saved and could start the business on her own, she is concerned about her lack of bookkeeping and management experience. A friend mentions they knows an experienced businessperson seeking involvement with a start-up company. As Bridget’s business consultant, prepare recommendations for Bridget regarding an appropriate form of business organization, outlining the issues she should consider and the risks involved, supported by reasons for your suggestions. (Interpersonal, Information)
  4. You and a partner co-own Swim-Clean, a successful pool supply and cleaning service. Because sales have tapered off, you want to expand your operations to another town 10 miles away. Given the high costs of expanding, you decide to sell Swim-Clean franchises. The idea takes off, and soon you have 25 units throughout the region. Your success results in an invitation to speak at a local Rotary Club luncheon. Prepare a brief presentation describing how you evaluated the benefits and risks of becoming a franchisor, the problems you encountered, and how you established good working relationships with your franchisees. (Information)
  5. Do you have what it takes to be a successful franchisee? Start by making a list of your interests and skills, and do a self-assessment using some of the suggestions in this chapter. Next you need to narrow the field of thousands of different franchise systems. At Franchise Handbook Online ( , you’ll find articles with checklists to help you thoroughly research a franchise and its industry, as well as a directory of franchise opportunities. Armed with this information, develop a questionnaire to evaluate a prospective franchise. (Resources, Interpersonal, Information)
  6. Find news of a recent merger using an online search or a business periodical such as Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, or The Wall Street Journal. Research the merger using a variety of sources including the company’s website and news articles. Discover the motives behind the merger, the problems facing the new entity, and the company’s progress toward achieving its objectives. (Information)
  7. Team Activity After pulling one too many all-nighters, you realize your college needs an on-campus coffee/food delivery service and decide this might be a good business opportunity for you and some friends. Split the class into small groups. Start by outlining the management, technical, and financial resources that are needed to start this company. Then evaluate what resources your group brings to the table and what you will need from partners. Using Exhibit 4.3 as a guide, develop a list of questions for potential partners. After each group presents its findings to the class, it should pair up with another group that seems to offer additional resources. Interview the other group’s members using your questions to decide if the teams could work together and if you would proceed with this venture. (Resources, Interpersonal)
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