Small businesses are the backbone of our economy

For each topic each week you are to post your original reply and then reply to four other postings for each topic. Total possible points available is 30 per week. Points will be determined based on content and correctness; this is your chance to develop professional writing skills so habits commonly found in the texting environment are not allowed and if used, will result in points being deducted. The total number of posts required per week to get full points is 15. Three topics, 5 posts per topic.

Week 5

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Answer 3 topics questions.

Topic 1

In many positions there is going to be a time where you are tasked with a project that requires you to conduct some type of research.  We all know there is an enormous amount of information to be found on the web; but what are the limitations of using search engines such as google?  Is there a better way to research without using a search engine?  Will you find anything different or is using a search engine the way to go?

Topic 2

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy; if you were to start a business what would it be about?  How would you determine if your idea for the business is a good one or not?  What steps would you take to make sure you are making the right decision?

Or – if you are not interesting in having your own business, tell us why.

Topic 3

Surveys are a very important tool when gathering data for reports.  We have all completed them whether it be an employee satisfaction survey or one on what the best brand of soup is.  The main question about surveys is – are they valid?  Is the data gathered usable in an analysis situation?

Thinking about all the surveys you have participated in, what were they about and were you totally honest or do you tend to respond like you think the survey taker wants you to respond.  Does it matter if it is anonymous or not?  Why or why not?

Classmates responses comment on them each.

Topic 1

I personally have not been in the position of doing research at work. I can say that the only research I have done is school work. I like using google and I think it is a great source. Although, some research is not legit I still like google. Maybe I trust it so much because I don’t know any other search engine. However, if you do use google you have to take your time and read thoroughly. Some data is made up so checking for credibility is crucial. Another way to do research is by doing surveys. If you have never done one you will be surprised how much information you can collect and utilize.

2. Using search engines like Google restrict us on a lot of ways. When I use Google I am always questioning whether or not the source that I am using is reliable. I am usually good at picking out the good and the bad sources but at times it can be annoying having to bounce back and fourth between all of the sites. About two years ago I was introduced to the PCC library and that changed everything for me when doing research. The PCC online library is a way better search engine because it does not have a bunch of unreliable sources and you can literally narrow down your search to one specific thing. Also if you are having a difficult time navigating through the online library you can go into the actual library and get help from the help desk in the library and they can walk you through just about anything. Another form of research is hands on research that can be very helpful in certain situations because you see what is happening first hand but it all depends on what type of research you are doing.

Thanks for reading!

3.I thing the first thing to be aware of when doing research on the internet is the validity and credibility of the information you find. There is a ton of data and information out there, much of which, is from unknown or unverified sources. One major example that comes to mind was the information being spread on social media by the Russian government in our past election. Many people believed this information at the time, which may have caused a tilt in our election. The impact can be massive.

From an academic standpoint, it is imperative to use information that is backed by credible sources. Wikipedia has vast amounts of useful knowledge, but it is not always correct, so that is one site in particular to be extra careful about. Some other ways of doing research includes using the good old fashioned public library or an online school library. I have tried to use these in the past however, and I find that the process of using a library is just too slow and outdated. I felt like I was able to find equally satisfying data using the web.

4.Lets say you were asked by your company to see what style of shoes or clothing were selling a lot, because they wanted to know what style of shoes or clothing to produce. I actually worked for Columbia Sportswear and saw how they designed shoes, a lot of it was cutting Nike’s and other brands in half and seeing what they were made out of. They would also put several other brand name shirts on the wall and use color schemes and design elements to design their own.  This would be hands on research as opposed to just Goggling something, in this way we can study things hands on.

Topic 2

1. If you were to ask me this question 5-10 years ago, I would say that I want to open a restaurant one day. I say that because that’s where I had years and years of experience. I worked nearly every position in a restaurant from dishwasher, to server, to executive chef. I know the ins and outs of that industry, which I think is part of the foundation to opening a small business. There are so many more factors though: access to capital, research and marketing about your target consumer, which location to rent and the history of that place, plus a large amount of licensing, city code, and insurance hoops to jump through. Another important part to take into effect is to try to imagine if you would be happy doing that line of work 10-20 years down the road. This is hard to imagine accurately, but a really underrated step to consider when opening a business.

My new idea would be to open a small cpa firm, something like me and 1 or 2 other people. I figure this type of business would have fairly low overhead. Work should be steady if you could lock in some small business who need taxes or accounting work down throughout the year. Of course during late winter through early spring, business should be steady with tax season. I am pretty unfamiliar with this business industry though, so my first step would be to talk to local business owners in the industry and get their thoughts about it.

2.  How bout one that doesn’t fail, no restaurants, no antique shops, no worm stores, no yarn stores.  OK the sure bet, buy a McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s these will never ever go out of business. Liquor stores seem like they never close… hmmm. How do I know these are good business, because McDonalds has been open for like 80 years, through recessions.  What steps do I make to determine this is the right business, check to make sure its got staying power like Coca Cola and Taco Bell do, then its a good business. Why do these business stay open forever, because the people have decided by patronizing them that they want them till the year 2890, when we all become robots and we no longer get hungry.

3. I am currently in the midst of turning my recently developed program into an official non-profit organization! Little background… I currently hold the job title of a PSW ( a Personal Support Worker)- for those of you who are unfamiliar with this line of work, I provide aid to children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Through my work, I became aware that my community had a sufficient lack of resources available to to that population, which is where my entrepreneurial spirit comes in. I had the bright idea to start a fitness class targeted specifically at that audience, long story short- it has been extremely successful and official paperwork is in the works! I knew it would take off because I saw the need for it in my community, first hand- and I got feedback from the families of my clients and community members as well to verify that I was making the right decision. I would love to give updates further down the road!

4.I haven’t done any business before, but I plan to do in the future. For me, to determine if my business idea is good or not, first, I want to make sure that the business I want to do is not new. I want to do this because if you want to do something completely new, you need a lot of budget to get people attention, and I don’t think I have enough budget to do that, so I decide to do something not new. Then, I will do a research about how anyone is doing with this type of business. If they are doing good, I will do. If not, I will change the business until I find a good one.

I think in business, you can not make sure you are making the right decision. But you can do research or analyzing to minimize the risk.

Topic 3

1.I can’t remember the last time I did a survey. I avoid them as much as possible. For me, it is just a waste of time. I can see how collecting the data is really important for businesses in order to target their consumer base though. I feel like they are probably fairly valid. I would estimate that surveys are accurate about 75% of the time. Anyone can lie for one reason or another on them, or for no reason at all. I also assume that some surveys are more reliable than others. Employee satisfaction seems like one that may be more accurate than a random one found on youtube, because people care about more about being heard and seeing results from their responses in a place they go everyday.

I don’t believe it matters if they are anonymous or not. I guess people would be more truthful if they put their own name on it, but even then, who’s enforcing that? Who would track down someone to verify if they answered a question on a survey accurately? In the case of an employee survey, it may be slightly more beneficial in terms of accurate data, to have the survey be anonymous. If an employee had something negative to say, but was afraid to say it because of retribution, they may not be honest about it.

2. Yes, surveys are a valid form of research, but it is important to not put an unreasonable amount of emphasis of their importance. While it can be a good vehicle to receive feedback, the results can be skewed. The people who tend to respond to surveys in my experience, are ones who had an uncommonly bad experience with the product or service. This can be seen by looking at ratemyteachers.com or yelp. Often, the vast majority of the people who experience the teacher or restaurant will have had a perfectly satisfactory experience, put the small percentage that are motivated to post online are those that happened to clash with the teacher or received a rude comment at the restaurant.  This may sound very vindictive but that is how people’s brains work.

I rarely respond to surveys as I simply have better things to do, especially since I seem to receive them constantly these days and would never have the time to do all of them. If I do happen to respond, it’s probably because they are offering a gift card or something.  It doesn’t really matter to me if they are anonymous but a lot of people would be less likely to be honest if they were not anonymous.

3. Yep, surveys are a valid way to conduct research! Results tend to be some of the most accurate, and rather convenient to collect. I have completed so many surveys, all of them voluntarily, except for voting… just kidding! I have taken surveys on how pleased I was with the customer service, how good my food was, how fast the service was- all types and I am typically honest. Though I can recall having given several rather biased answers just because I thought the survey taker had specific expectations. Not all are like that though! I think anonymous surveys are best in some situations, others may gather more useful and accurate studies if the demographics are identified.

4.I think survey is a good source of information you can use to do research or analyze. I took many kind of survey before, such as a course evaluation survey; a survey that ask my opinion about hybrid class in PCC; survey for a company, etc. For me, I am honest when taking any survey because I know that the host of the survey really want the information in the survey so that they can use these information for business or other purposes. And I it should be anonymous because most of the case, you don’t need the participants’ information, you just need their opinion. But I think there still have surveys that need your personal information, but it may be used to served for other purposes.

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