Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Business

The Statistical Edge: Enhance Your Metrics with the Actuarial Valuation Method

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Dani Freidus, Finance Expert for Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

What Is an Actuary?
The Power of the Actuarial Valuation Method
How Can an Actuary Help to Enhance Business Metrics?
How You Can Start to Implement This Now

Beyond Insurance: The Changing Role and Perception of Actuaries

I often hear the question “What is an actuary?” Well, actuaries are unique in that they have a deep understanding of both business and statistics. Traditionally, an actuary’s differentiator was their ability to make financial sense of extremely long-term horizons—typically those associated with the lifespan of human beings. This naturally lent itself to actuaries working in the age-old fields of life insurance and pensions

However, it is not just an actuary’s grasp of the long term which is unique but also their ability to harness a broad range of academic fields and apply them in a business context. To this end, the Actuaries Institute defines actuaries as professionals who: Read more of this post


How to Become a Self-Publisher [Infographic]

Are you interested in self-publishing? Recently, this visually stunning infographic came to my attention. And it provides a lot of useful information, addressing issues such as challenges to overcome as well as benefits and key aspects of self-publishing. According to Moneypod:

Self-publishing is becoming an increasingly popular method for budding authors to get their publications noticed, especially if their writings have been rejected by publishers in the past. However, it can be a tough start to your career and can take time to perfect.

If you’re an aspiring author, take a look and see if the following information helps with your planning.

Read more of this post

The Top Management Models That Are Changing How Business Operates [Infographic]

Submitted by Quinn Cooley, Media Manager at at Circa Interactive

Edited by Lynn Patra

North American business leaders have their fingers on the pulse of what it takes to flourish in a constantly changing society. No, it isn’t cutting costs. It is learning how to adapt to change.

The management issue businesses face

While 75% of executives believe that their future success is dependent on their ability to adapt, less than half of them have tried change management programs. And, of the people that have tried to integrate change management programs into their business, only 54% of them feel as though their efforts have been successful.

Clearly, there is a discrepancy between what prevailing wisdom says must be done, and what is actually getting done.

The issue with implementing effective change

Surprisingly, most executives agree that an overhaul on corporate culture is necessary in order for change to effectively occur. While the vast majority of executives agree that it is necessary to consider a company’s culture in order to make effective change, 76% also acknowledge that this was not accomplished in their own change management efforts. Read more of this post


Fintech and Banks: How Can the Banking Industry Respond to the Threat of Disruption?

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Alex Graham, Finance Expert for Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

Fintech 1.0 needs fintech 2.0 to arrive.
How have banks reacted to fintech?
There are four areas in which the financial industry can focus to improve their response to fintech.
What will the bank of the future be?

Banks Can Play the Fintech Game Too

Fintech, shortened from financial technology, is assumed to be a modern movement. Yet the use of technology to assist financial services is by no means a new phenomenon. Financial services is an industry that introduced credit cards in the 1950s, internet banking in the 1990s and, since the turn of the millennium, contactless payment technology. Yet, fintech’s place in the public conscience has really taken off in the past three years:

Chart 1: Google Trends "Interest over Time" Results for the Search String "Fintech"

The takeoff of this term has come from startups—actors not within the inner circle of financial services, taking a more prominent role within the ecosystem. Three core trends have led to this movement emerging: Read more of this post


How to Write Great Job Descriptions: 15 Science-Backed Tips [Infographic]

With my attention focused on job hunting, wouldn’t it be nice for job descriptions to always succinctly communicate necessary information and be easy on the eyes in general? A long time ago, I had acquired experience writing job descriptions through an internship at a Human Resources consulting organization, so I know a guide like this one is quite handy for those who’re tasked with this. The following infographic provides 15 tips on writing an effective job description.

Originally published by Jennifer Gladstone at Employment Background Investigations Read more of this post


A Quick Status Update & Business Resource Recommendations

Months ago I mentioned that I’d spend this past summer giving a new business venture a go and would report back on how this panned out. It wasn’t meant to be. However, this snag is another chance to learn and problem solve in order to transition to the next opportunity. Despite people telling me that I seem to have everything together, I understand what it’s like to struggle. For now, I’m focused on returning to the workforce, but at least fall season is the ideal time to search I hear.

However, between time spent inside my own head and working on the business, my networking efforts fell to the wayside, and this doesn’t set me up well for finding a job. Personal referrals are the way to go nowadays, what with hiring managers having to sift through piles of resumes. This is, by the way, a familiar problem that some introverts have. Well, I decided to act in accordance to the saying about sometimes having to spend money to make money (and no, I don’t think money is the root of all evil but I’ll return to this thought with my “politics in the workplace, etc.” series next week).

Read more of this post


How to Hire the Right M&A Advisor to Help Sell Your Business

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

It can take around five months to sell a business. It is a significant commitment with many risks, in terms of juggling attention between ongoing operations and negotiating the sale. Enlisting the a professional M&A consultant’s assistance will help a founder to manage time, maintain their business, and maximize the economic outcome of the deal.

To help select an M&A consultant to work with, we will outline the steps of selling a business and, for each, outline the beneficial characteristics that a consultant can provide.

This article is written within the context of trying to sell a business (outbound), as opposed to fielding an unsolicited request to buy a business (inbound)

Prelude: Does the Founder Want to Sell?

The reasons for selling a business will first be defined by the owner’s personal situation and desires: Read more of this post


Selling Your Business? Stop Leaving Money on the Table

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Jeffrey Mazer, Finance Expert at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Key Highlights

  • Current market conditions are prime for selling a business. The market is experiencing high multiples due to plentiful dry powder held by private equity firms, record amounts of cash held by strategic corporate buyers, a low interest rate environment, and high prices for publicly-traded equities.
  • The time it takes to sell generally ranges from five to twelve months. The determining factors around timing include the size of your business and the dynamic balance between buyers and sellers in the market.
  • Valuations are more of an art than a science. The best business valuation methods typically involve cash-flow. Still, the three most commonly utilized valuation calculations are the discounted cash flow, market multiples, and asset valuation.
  • The best practices for maximizing shareholder value include the following:
    • Make sure the business can thrive without you. You need a management team or key employees that can continue to drive cash flow, especially if you plan to exit the business or will have limited involvement in day-to-day operations. You should also broaden your customer base so that the business is not at risk if a couple key customers leave post-sale.
    • Learn the dynamics driving acquisitions in your industry. Many business owners spend their time focused on keeping the business running instead of devoting energy to planning for its sale. Stay apprised of the motivations for financial and strategic buyers in your industry, as this can help you negotiate a higher exit value.
    • Hire the right advisors. Don’t do it alone. An experienced M&A advisor can market your company to a larger group of potential buyers than you can access on your own. Early engagement of an independent valuation specialist can provide a market check on valuation and allow you to incorporate value drivers into your pre-sale planning.
    • Examine and adjust operational efficiencies strategically. If necessary, it could be worth adopting efficient operating procedures before the sale. This may involve investments in new equipment or technology or changes in staffing.
    • Factor tax considerations into sale decisions. Decisions around how to sell your business (merger, sale of stock, sale of assets) should consider tax implications carefully. It is also important to anticipate changes in tax law.

Read more of this post


You Need a Hero: The Project Manager [Abridged]

Submitted by Irene Papuc at Toptal

Authored by Ethan James, Freelance Software Engineer at Toptal

This abridged version was edited by Lynn Patra

This article is for you, the plucky entrepreneur with an app idea in your heart and cash in the bank. Diagrams you’ve scribbled on cocktail napkins will disrupt the world, and dump trucks full of money have been dispatched to your house. To ensure timely arrival, here’s advice for making your production cycle run smoothly.

Why You Need A Project Manager In The First Place

“Computer programs are the most complex things that humans make,” says Douglas Crockford, a senior software architect at Paypal who has pioneered various cool technology. He is someone with expertise about working on large projects. Read more of this post


How the Skills Gap Affects the Global Economy [Infographic]

Thus far, this blog has focused on issues as they pertain to the United States. As a departure, this infographic compares the existing skills gap in various nations. I’m sharing this as a natural lead-in to an upcoming post on work-related trends and challenges in other countries (with a focus on Asia). The future post will consider the interaction of government policies’ impact on the local economy and demographic trends, and how this impacts innovation and entrepreneurship. I find that examining circumstances in other parts of the world can benefit one’s thinking about issues within one’s own country.
The following information was published in 2012 (which is still considered recent according to the world of social science research – the last time I checked anyway). Let me know your thoughts and if there’s information you would add to or change here.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: