Business Plan for a start up

When you want to create your own company, it’s necessary to take an important step which will help you to know if your project is viable and feasible. The Business plan is a kind of document where you can find all information concerning your future company, the competition, your objectives for the future and how you will succeed. You must not forget that you plan is supposed to get financed either by the bank or from other investors.

First of all, before making your business plan, you have to answer to two questions; why do you make this business plan and for whom. To begin with, a brainstorm is the best way to get more ideas and opinions, in order to improve your work.

In case you proceed with this step, it will help you launch a new company and get the funds that you need. Your file has to be addressed to all the potential investors, who could fund your project.

Then, it’s important to give more detailed information regarding your project. What is important is to talk about the opportunities that you will offer, the trend of the market and competition that you will face when selling your products or services. In this way, you will show your investors that you know very well what you want and then you will be aware of their interest in your project.

Now you have a complete description of your product and that gives you the advantage over your competitors, in the same sector, especially when the competition becomes hard. Now you are aware of your targets too and also how to attract new customers. The marketing mix, also called four “P” (Product, Price, Place, Promotion), must be clear and coherent. Indeed, you cannot sell a luxury product in the supermarket at a law price. Therefore, you should study the demands of the market and target your potentials clients. The customer’ behaviour plays a significant role and as it changes very often, your product must be able to adapt in those changes.

As always, it is essential to present a financial forecast of the first years of your company‘s activity. That means all expenses to launch and run your business and also the expected income from the sales of your products and the services offered by your company. Everything related to the company’s accounting must be precise at this part.

Then you should guarantee your potential investors that you are prepared for any unexpected situations that could occur. If you have in mind the potential difficulties, that may come into your way, you will have the time to find the appropriate solutions and be well prepared in case you have to overcome any problem. This feeling of having everything under control will make your partner feel like he /she can rely on you. It’s a good way to reach your objectives more easily.

The summary of your project plays an important role, as well. Indeed, in this part you have to focus on the essential things of your business plan and also add your personal point of view about each and one of them. In these few pages is enclosed the main idea of your project. So be very convincing about your ideas and your choices – even if sometimes are just predictions support your point of view and be confident about your plan.

Top recruitment sectors for a internship or a job

As the crisis affected all countries of the world, we could expect companies to stop recruiting new employees for a period of time. Actually some sectors weren’t touched by this   and there are some companies, even if not too many, that carry on with hiring workers, especially young graduates.

However you just have to be attentive and reactive because companies are increasingly selective about recruitment and the competition is really hard.

Let’s see what are those sectors that resist the crisis and give a chance to young people :

  • Industrial sector which have an economic downturn, but companies like Thales or L’Oreal continue to hire new workers trough social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Viadeo, Linkedin and others, to attract more young graduates. Aeronautics and aerospace companies are the main recruiters for this sector as they are always looking for new engineers. They offer a lot of opportunities.

  • It is not surprising that the IT sector is one of best recruiters in the world for young graduates. Companies like Apple, Google or Samsung or many others are dream companies for young graduates and they hire a lot of them.

  • Audit consulting can be found in every huge company and even in smallest companies since they understand the importance of it for their long-lasting success. They recruit young people because they have young visions and new ideas. During the interview, the applicants’ personality is really important for them.

  • The ecology sector represents a future sector because the health of the earth has become a priority for the northern countries and for the population. That’s why a lot of enterprises invest in renewable energies whether in the private sector or in the public one. Therefore they hire a lot of people and mainly young workers.

  • Another sector which didn’t experience the crisis is the insurance one. Indeed, thanks to “oldie boom” a lot of old people need an insurance for them and their families. The big groups like Axa, Allianz, ING or Swiss Life recruit new employees to deal with this demand.

  • The health sector is an important recruiter because they are still understaffed of surgeons, practitioners, nurses, due to the retirement of many health professionals and the increase of old people who need medical care. They are very demanding but they make every effort to hire the candidate if they have the required profile.

  • It is time to consider a career in the Land force, Navy or Air Force. The army professions vary a lot from officer to commander, either engineer, practitioner or pilot… You can join the army after your baccalaureate and carry on your formation in a military school where you can specialize in a profession of your choice. Each country recruit young people: Royal Navy in UK, Marine in France…

So you have a lot of possibilities to find an internship during your studies or a job after your degree. Even with the crisis, the slowdown and the decline of some lines of business, there are many opportunities in the professional world. You just should know what you want and have the required profile with some skills appreciated by companies, like speaking several languages and having a strong personality.

Illegal questions during an interview

You have already done an interview or you will do it in the future. Thus, is really important to know what kind of questions your recruiter will ask you in order to prepare your answers as best you can. This will help you to be more confident during the interview and to make a good impression since the beginning. The employers want to know everything about you, both your life and your environment. But, some questions can be tricky or illegal mainly when they refer to your age, race, national origins, gender, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, health or criminal record.

Indeed, they must not exceed your private rights or not hire you because of discriminatory questions. That’s completely illegal. Therefore, you have to answer to all the questions but pay attention that they aren’t illegal because you can choose to not reply or even file a complaint if this happens.

Now, the hardest part is to recognize them because the interviewer don’t ask these questions directly but use subterfuges. I am going to present you some stratagems that the recruiters use to request you these type of questions.

Firstly, in your CV you are not obliged to mention these kind of information except if you want but not because the company demand you to do that.

They want to know how long you can work with them in order to determine if they can hire you or not and to know how many years you have before your retirement. This is not an exception because the employers must only know if you have the age to work. This means that you should be an adult.

Sometimes, the recruiters want to know your origins and they use a lot of ways to do that. Often, they can ask you about the foreign languages you can speak and how you learned them. This is inappropriate because they can know it simply reading your CV.

About the questions of your physical abilities, they are legal only if they are related to the job application and if they are the same for all the candidates. For this reason, you are not obliged to answer if they ask you questions like if you use some kind of drugs or somethings else.

Then, they can request you if you have a criminal record but they are only allowed to know if you have ever been convinced to commit a crime without asking you further precisions as the duration or why or when you have done it.

Furthermore, don’t forget questions related to the religion which are very frequent during an interview. However, they can ask you if you can work during the weekends but only if they demand the same to all the applicants and if is necessary.

There are a lot of others illegals questions used by recruiters to get more information about you but I think with all the things I have previously underlined you know now how to recognize illegal questions during an interview and how to protect yourself about discriminatory ones. Don’t be scared to ask to the others applicants if they have had your same questions when even one of them look strange to you.

To sum up, working together on this, is the only way to prevent any kind of discrimination and fight against it.

Advices for new interns

In Internship-UK, there is a very big rota with interns. When some interns leave the company at the end of their internship, others come and try to fit in the same environment. But sometimes, it is difficult for them because old interns are used to do some stuff, have their own habits and speak most of the time with the people they know.
Even during working hours, it is difficult to know what you have to do, when you first come into the company.
This is why it is essential to welcome new interns, by explaining to them a lot of things.

For example, when you arrive, the manager of your department has to explain you how to log in on your account and which quizzes you have to take, before start working.
That is also why Cheryl organize several workshops, which most of the times are activities we do in groups in order to help improving our English. It also helps people to socialize with the others so it is a great opportunity for the new interns. During lunch time, you have to eat with people from all the departments, and this can help you communicate with others interns, from different departments.
You do not have to forget that interns will always help you if you are in trouble and will be really happy to deal with your problems, so do not hesitate to ask them when you do not understand something.
There are a lot of opportunities for new interns to socialize, especially throughout the cooking time. Usually, you are in a team of three people and you cook together during one morning, so you will obviously communicate at this moment. You have 4 hours to prepare the lunch.
You can also try to get to know your colleagues outside the office as you will probably live with other interns during your stay, and you will probably share a lot of moments together.

To conclude, we can say that new interns do not have to be nervous if they will fit or not in the company, because here there are a lot of opportunities to help them meet and share things with new people. You just need time to adapt completely to the company. Just enjoy the time you will spend here!

How to be effective at work

Have you ever been reprimanded because you were inefficient? Have someone ever told you that you are? I am going to give you some advices to be effective in your daily work life.

– Take short breaks: better outside your office. Change of environment will definitely help you to refresh your mind and focus bigger and better on yourself.
– Have enough energy: a good breakfast or just take something to eat from the kitchen before go to work it will help you to be awake for the whole morning and afternoon.
– Be concentrated at work: Do not be distracted by other colleagues. There is a time to work and a time to relax and talk with your colleagues or your friend on the phone. If you want to have a professional behaviour, you have to distinguish your professional life from the personal one. Thus, do not mix your work with your breaks!
– Try to change your mind:  When you take a break do not always think about the what you are doing at work or you will be lost. After a moment, your brain will be tired and you will not be able to concentrate on your work. Be absorbed by your work all day is not good and you will not take advantage on that. Furthermore, all these thoughts will influence your mood as well.
– Keep smiling: Smiling is the best medicine for everything in your life. It helps to have a positive atmosphere at work and in the same time in your head. If you smile, you will remember your day as a good day because you have had a positive mental attitude and you may have helped some others colleagues with your big smile and your positive feelings, who knows? It is always better to smile to keep on going. If you have to be in contact with or phone people, always smile, it can be heard at phone too.  And in the most of the cases, people are nicer with you when you are happy and polite with them. So don’t forget to be optimist in your life and…as Bobby Mcferrin sings: “Don’t worry be happy!”
– Fix goals: Of course, you have to follow both orders and tasks given by your boss or your supervisors but you can set targets or goals to be motivated during the whole day. Thanks to that, you will have bigger chances to increase your productivity.

To conclude, we can say that the best way to be effective at work is to improve yourself trying to reach higher each day and having goals. It is essential to be always motivated and keep on going in a positive way. Having a healthy routine is also important to be confident and concentrated while you are working.

How do social media influence your recruitment?

More than half of the UK’s companies are using the influence of social media to screen potential employees. If social networks are not the first showcase of the candidate, they nevertheless give you the opportunity to stand out among the pre­-selected profiles … or to be eliminated.

You may have already created a profile on Linkedin or on a job board but it is not enough, you need to keep it updated and linked with your appliances in order to be useful. Otherwise, it won’t reflect your real profile and may limit your influence on social media. You’ll find below the do’s and don’ts of social media.

Top 5 of positive influence on Social Media

1. Your profile is consistent with your professional skills, do not lie about who you are!

2. Your profile reflects well your personality. It is useless to mislead your future boss, he will notice it sooner or later.

3. Your profile has to have the right skills set relative to the referred position. For that, use keywords in order to gain the attention of your recruiter.

4. Your references must be excellent.

5. Your profile is the same on all your social media.

Top 5 of negative influence on social media

1. Inappropriate photos. Your recruiter won’t be interested in seeing the pictures of you during your last holiday in Tijuana.

2. Inappropriate comments on your profile.

3. The exposed qualifications do not match those that you really have or do not match the requirement.

4. Your profile shows low communication skills.

5. You have published negative comments about your previous employer.

In order to avoid failures, bear in mind which websites recruiters target and build your profile efficiently, using paragraphs, subheadings and bullet points to make your profile easily readable.

Use the internet to your advantage by highlighting the skills and abilities that you think are most relevant to recruiters. Professional social networking websites such as LinkedIn allow you to post your experience and qualifications and to get in touch with professionals around the world or find job offers in your sector. They have the advantage of being highly rated by search engines, so often appear high up in the list.

Display your skills for example if you write a blog connected to your field of employment, link this to your profile. Current and up­ to­ date knowledge is essential so as to recognize industry trends. This should also emphasize your enthusiasm.

Obviously, make good use of privacy settings because content you have uploaded will be visible to any HR person and your future employer could have an insight into more than just your qualifications and work experience.

You still haven’t updated your Linkedin account nor erased compromising photos from your Facebook? Just be wary and remember that it’s a public space. That way, with luck, it’ll be an escort rather than a barrier when it comes to establishing your graduate career and getting your dream job.

How to overcome your shyness?

Many people think they are very shy and don’t want to speak loud in font of strangers or people in general. These people can overcome shyness by training themselves and stop being afraid of what other people think about them. During your whole life, people will judge, criticize and say mean things about you but you can’t avoid it, shy or not. So the first step would be not to pay attention to what those people say. Focus on what your friend think about you, because they are the ones who really know you.

Concerning the oral expression, training alone can be a good way to improve, because step by step you will be more self confident. Besides, doing an internship or a job with team work helps a lot. As you are confronted to obligations, you have to share your opinion and sometimes give new ideas. It’s hard because you might be scared to say stupidities but who doesn’t? That’s also these mistakes that make you stronger and make you think more for the next time.
Tons of people are more or less shy, and for some of them it is a real flaw. These people should not want to change because in any way, they won’t be extroverted. Accept your shyness and try to improve it every day in order to forget it. It’s in your temper and you can’t change it from one day to the next.

The main problem of shyness is that others consider it is a problem for you, whereas it is not and it’s worse when they tell you because you feel uncomfortable. In spite of what people think, shyness brings many good attractions and is under estimated because our society is focused on fame. Being attentive to others, having good comprehension and thinking before speaking make these people good friends and companion of life. They are able to take global views of issues and think how to fix it. These adjectives sum up what a shy person is in general, and will help you to place yourself: tactful, discrete, humble, reserved, respectful, kind, empathic and perfectionist.

It is a common mistake to get shy people mixed up with introvert people. To make sure you will not make the mistake again, let me explain you what’s the difference. According to studies, half of the population is introverted, and the other one extroverted. It is in our genes and it results in our behaviour. Introverted people tend to be more quiet and prefer to live in a calm way. They globally prefer being in an environment they know to be at ease, and sometimes shut themselves away when it is too crowded or uncomfortable for them. They like to be alone, they are creative, full of ideas, they are considered as thinking people, they always plan their actions before acting. These adjectives can help you to situate yourself if you think you are an introverted person: serene, quiet, good listener, solitary and rational.

To conclude, we can say that shy people avoid social interaction because of their fear and anxiousness about strangers whereas introverted people would rather be alone to evolve in a safe way and so they can act as they see fit.

Do you know your personality?

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychological instrument which identifies a person’s personality type, their strengths and preferences, and how they perceive the world and makes decisions. This psychometric questionnaire is one of the most used in the world.

It was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs, putting into practice the Carl Gustav Jung’s theory about personality types and his book, Psychological Types, published for the first time in 1921. He believed there were two different general attitude types that could describe how people interact with the world around them: extroverted and introverted. An extrovert person is talkative and energetic, action oriented, likes to spend time with the others; on the other hand, an introvert person is thought ­oriented, has a more reserved behavior and like relating the others in a more meaningful way.
In addition to this, the test considers that people’s behavior is split up between 6 basic psychological tendencies that work together by pair. The first and the second one, thinking and feeling, are related to how people make decisions. Those who think pay attention on facts and objectives data and are logical and impersonal; those who rather feel instead prefer to consider the people and emotions when they make choices. The third and the fourth, sensation and intuition, are related to how the people get information. A sensitive person focuses on facts and details. They like learning from their senses and from hands-on experience. An intuitive person likes thinking about the future and the possibilities and pays attention to their impressions.
The fifth and sixth one, judging and perceiving, is about how people act. People that have a structured and established lifestyle belong to the “judging” category, whereas people who have a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle belong to the “perceiving” category.

Everybody belongs a bit to all these categories, but some are dominant, which defines the personality type. There are sixteen personality types, that correspond to the assessment’s result, presented as a four letter code: ISTJ, ISTP, ESTP, ESTJ, ISFJ, ISFP, ESFP, ESFJ, INFJ, INFP, ENFP, ENFJ, INTJ, INTP, ENTP, ENTJ. The first letter is related to Extrovert or Introvert (E or I); the second to Sensing or Intuition (S or N); the third is related to Thinking or Feeling (T or F); the fourth to Judging or Perceiving (J or P).

This questionnaire can be useful for understanding, motivating and developing yourself and the others, for working in teams and allocating responsibilities and tasks.
If you know your personality and your personality type, you could identify and develop your strengths and weaknesses , improve your skills to relate with the others, to avoid and resolve conflicts, to work together more efficiently, to develop emotional intelligence, to learn the best team style for work or to develop leadership, management, and teamwork skills. This model is indeed often used as part of all kinds of business strategies because its first purpose is to understand differences – either cultural, physical or psychological ­ between people.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Jung.

Body Language: how to shape our mind and become a powerful person.

Before speaking how our body can help us to become a powerful person and how people through their body language show power or the lack of it, we should talk about what body language is, also known as nonverbal communication.

As we have already said, body language or nonverbal behavior is a real form of communication or interaction. We do not communicate only using our voice and words. We communicate with gestures, postures, head or hand movements and even with the whole body. Sometimes non-­verbal behavior coincides with what we say, but occasionally what is said and what we are doing with our body conflicts, showing our real feelings and emotions. There are two main kinds of body language: powerful and low ­power nonverbal expressions. Powerful people tend to be more assertive, more self ­confident, more optimistic, they think more abstractly and they tend to take more risks when it comes to take decisions. How do powerful people show their power and dominance? They use non verbal expressions connected with the movement of ”opening up”. Powerful people make themselves big, they stretch out, they expand themselves and it seems like they want to fill all the space of the room they are in. People do these kind of opening up movements not only when they actually are powerful, but even when they feel powerful for a moment. As we can see the same non verbal expressions in the animal kingdom, we can conclude that these expressions of power are old and universal. What do we do when we feel powerless? We close up, we wrap ourselves up and we make ourselves small. Low power person can not face powerful people, they do exactly the opposite movements, they close up.

Amy Cuddy, social psychologist and Harvard researcher, interested in power dynamics, has discovered that there are two hormones that play a key role in these powerful and powerless behaviors. Testosterone is the dominance hormone and cortisol is the stress hormone. She has noticed that powerful people have high levels of testosterone and low level of cortisol. On the contrary, powerless people have high levels of cortisol and low level of testosterone. This is something observed in high ­power alpha males in primates hierarchies, and in powerful and effective leaders. What is really interesting, is that the levels of these two hormones can change even when people force themselves to act in a different way. For instance, when a low power person pretends to be powerful, using dominance and powers poses, his level of testosterone increases while the cortisol decreases. This is the reason why, she gives us some advice to how we can shape our mind using our body. When we have to deal with a stressful or difficult situation, we can take two minutes for ourselves performing power poses. This will raise our testosterone levels and we will actually feel more confident and less stress, being able to face the situation in a more optimistic way.

In conclusion, we communicate with words but with nonverbal expressions too, which can reveal our real feelings and emotions. When we feel powerless, especially before a difficult situation, we can always use ”opening up” poses, which will increase our testosterone level and make us feel more self confident. We can pretend to be powerful every day until we will actually be powerful.
In Amy Cuddy’s words, we can fake it till we become it.