page contents

Register Sole Proprietor Firm

As the name suggests, the Sole Proprietor firm is an establishment can be started by an individual. You would need minimum paper work to start the sole proprietor firm and the government of India is also very lenient with respect to the taxes incurred on the owners of such firms.
The detailed process to start a firm is as below:
1. PAN Registration: PAN is abbreviated as “Permanent Account Number”. The individual who is the owner of the firm should have a PAN card on his/her name. The ITRs would be filed using the same PAN and it will be treated as the individual taxes and not the corporate taxes. The cost of applying a PAN card is Rs. 94/- as per Indian law. Apply for PAN here: https://www.tin-nsdl.com/
2. TAN Registration: TAN is called as Tax Collection and Deduction Account Number. This number is required when the firm owner is collecting taxes from either the customer or the employees. This is not required for the people dealing in service management at the initial level. Apply for TAN here: https://www.tin-nsdl.com/
3. Service Tax Registration: As per the law, if in any fiscal year the overall turnover crosses 10 lakh, you are liable to pay service taxes to the government which is 10% of your total income. In case the turnover is lesser than the limit you can run your business without service tax registration. For the firms, where the clients need the invoices for the cheque/credit clearance, service tax registration is recommended since the start. The invoice letter should have the service tax registration number. In general the invoices must have following information:
a. Supplier Name
b. Supplier Address
c. PAN
d. Supplier’s Service Tax Registration Number
e. Proprietor’s Name
f. Supplier’s VAT number (in case of VAT charged from client)
More info on service tax registration, check here: http://www.servicetax.gov.in/st-proc-home.htm and http://www.servicetax.gov.in/forms/st1.pdf
4. VAT/CST Registration: VAT and CST are required if you are buying or selling the taxable goods. For the intrastate transaction VAT is required and for the interstate transactions CST will be required.
5. Professional Tax: This tax is required if you have even hired a single employee and paying him/her the salary and deducting taxes from his/her salary.
6. Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Employee State Insurance (ESI) Registration: EPF registration is required if you have more than 20 employees. In that case you need to register your firm in EPF office of your state. The EPFO is governed by the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Each employee should then have the PF account registered in the EPFO.
On the other hand, ESI registration is required for the firm having 10-20 employees. In case of a factory, ESI registration is required for 10 employees.

More details, please check here: http://www.epfindia.gov.in/ , http://www.epfindia.gov.in/registration.htm and http://www.esic.nic.in/
7. Shop and Establishment Act: This registration is always a matter of confusion as some people believe it’s mandatory while some believe its optional. Please remember, once you set up your sole proprietor firm, its always recommended to register under the Shop and establishment act. This is always required to open a physical location like shops, office etc, for your business. In case you are operating from home, this license can be kept as optional but not always recommended. For no employees, the annual fee is 120/- and it ranges up to 12500/- depending on the number of employees working at your firm.
8. Importer – Exporter Code: This is a 10 digit code similar to PAN required for international trading. The same is issued by Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India to Indian companies and firms. More details, please check here: http://dgft.gov.in/
9. Bank Account: A bank account with your name is required. This will be referred for the ITR filing. The bank account should mention the details of the sole proprietor firm. It’s recommended to opt for the current account in any of the recognized national/international banks. Visit any bank for more details on this.
10. Trademark and Copyright Registration: This is required to register your logo or trademark, if any, for the marketing and branding of your product and services. The normal charges of registration are up to 9000/- depending on different locations. This registration is optional and only required if you want to make a brand name for your firm.
11. Website Design: In the today’s digital world, you cannot even imagine your firm or business without a website. The websites are the best mode of your marketing. With the websites, you should make an email address with the domain name registered e.g. @.com
It is always advisable to design the website which is user friendly and explains the purpose of your business. The websites are always helpful in the SEO and other modes of digital marketing. You can also apply for the payment gateway for the online transactions via your website.

Happy Learning!!!

How to be a domain expert

Domain experience and business analysis go hand in hand. With every year added in the career, the employers start expecting the business analysts to be more specific and knowledgeable in the working areas. The business analysts are expected not to be an expert only in the processes but also have good exposure to the core domains so that the communication can be done using the functional terminologies related to specific domains. While discussing with different delivery managers and business unit heads I have noted that most of the individuals are following the strict guidelines for recruiting the business analysts. On one hand if business analysts are expected to be hands-on with different techniques, tools and business processes they are also supposed to have a good understanding of the working domains.

Today is the era when employers want to recruit the most efficient resources  working in their teams and the resources available for multiple tasks are always welcome. This is also true with the recruitment process of business analysts. Most of the times the business analysts are filtered out on the basis of domain expertise. The profile of business analysts is most misunderstood as it is spanned across the full project life cycle at different levels for different roles. They are expected to be the part of the core team throughout the project and thus  they have to be working with different teams. BTW business analysts are experts in working with different teams and the profile meant the same. Isn’t it?

In my recent book on business analysis I have emphasized more on the business processes and the knowledge areas. This is because the domain expertise comes with the continuous working in a specific domain and the terminologies can be learned in the course of time. While the business processes, tools and techniques hold the important role in the profile of business analysts. The business analysts are expected to work in the process oriented environment and they should be more focused on the techniques followed during the entire life cycle. Having domain experience is the added advantage and the people with testing or development background gain the same more easily and comfortably if they held the roles under certain functional umbrellas.

Nevertheless, learning is a continuous process and the domain knowledge can also be learned and developed. I have developed a technique of acquiring knowledge in any domain and I call it as an “AGILE” learning process. This process assists the business analysts to learn different domains and gain knowledge in any of the desirable domains.

A  – Ask Questions: Since our childhood we have been asked to ask. No matter  how silly the query is, but the same is valuable till it is answered.  So build the habit of asking questions. The questions related to the processes, product, techniques etc. always help in gaining knowledge in another domain. The domain understanding and the details related to terminologies come with the experience but in due course the individuals can frame questions to understand the processes. It’s always recommended to pen down the notes once you get answers to your questions as it will become a treasure till you are involved in that project. Asking questions remove the hurdles in the growing path and help the individuals in setting up their career path.

G – Get involved: Showing interest helps the individuals in getting marked and in turn the senior managers can refer them to the important meetings. Show curiosity in getting involved in the routine activities related to the project. Invite yourself to the meetings and show enthusiasm and be inquisitive while attending the meetings. Get involved in the important discussions and be active to be the part of the core team. Taking over the responsibilities and devoting energy to reach the targets helps the individuals in growing in any arena.

I – Increase Networking: Networking is always the best way to explore more options. The individuals looking for options in other domains are advised to increase their professional networking. Talking with  experts and seeking the opinions of the people working in your desirable domains is a smart way of gaining knowledge. Networking most of the times also help in landing to the desirable job position and hence it’s a good option to keep yourself updated on the professional networking sites and be in touch with the experts.

L – Look Around:  “Opportunity Knocks the door, but once”. You should always keep your senses working to look around for the available options and grab the most favorable option. While switching to any other domain, you need to think of the most common link between your current role and the future offering and then design the proposal to sell your profile for the available options. Think about the available options, be open to learn new techniques and work in odd conditions. It’s good to work on your terms but showing adaptability increase your chances of getting introduced to other areas.

E – Educate yourself: Gaining knowledge in desired domains is a stepping stone of getting into the dream role. There are potential trainings, workshops and certifications available in the market where the individuals can learn and improve their credentials. It is said that some portion of your income should be devoted in learning processes. It’s a self-investment which results in unexpected profits in the future.

So above we have learned a technique to grow in the desired field of knowledge and mark the footsteps into the space of new knowledge domains.

 

Happy Learning!!

Requirements

Understanding Nonfunctional requirements

Requirements are defined as the conditions or statements which meet the demands of the clientele and the stakeholders. Requirements are documented in order to help the different teams to understand their responsibilities and organizations’ needs and the prospects. The business requirements are broadly classified as functional requirements and non-functional requirements.

Functional Requirements: The statements or conditions which are defined to satisfy the logical aspects of the software are covered under the functional requirements. These statements explain the different aspects of the application/software to be developed. These functional requirements are elicited during the requirement elicitation process headed by business analysts. The elicitation process is carried out in order to pull out the different angles associated with the requirements and to understand the viewpoint of different stakeholders. The most commonly used elicitation techniques are Interview, Brainstorming, Prototyping, reverse engineering, document-analysis and many others which are used as per the requirement and the comfort level of the business analyst or someone wearing the hat of the business analyst.

Nonfunctional Requirements: The statements or conditions which support the usage of the application or the software and which help in aligning the functional requirements are considered under the non-functional requirements. The non-functional requirements are defined to explain the different abilities  of the software developed. The non-functional requirements are also termed as non-behavioral requirements or quality attributes defined in order to support the quality analysts to approve the software against the different constraints which must be met. They define the overall attributes of the end product.

There is no definition to identify the difference between functional and non-functional requirements and there is a very thin line of difference between two categories. It entirely depends on the experience of the business analyst, details captured during the elicitation process and the constraints or limitations defined for the resulting product to categorize a certain set of requirements into functional or non-functional requirements. This thin line of differentiation between two categories sometimes doesn’t able to limit the functionalities to get categorized into two categories and there are certain conditions where a feature is captured in both functional and non-functional requirements using different expressions or syntax.

The different abilities or the checklist supporting the non-functional requirements are mentioned as below:

  • Availability: It defines the percentage availability of the system which is expected at the time of the system operations. The hardware capacity of the system is designed referring to this availability percentage of the software or application. The details are approved by the business owners and documented by the business analysts during the business requirement documentation.
  • Usability and Reusability: This defines the convenience by which the system can be used by the intended users. This ability of the system explains the capacity of the software to be learned, installed and used by the business users. How easily the users can be trained on the system defines the usability of the software. Some softwares are designed to be used for the development other systems which have common components. This capability is known as reusability of the software. A software is considered as well designed and developed if it can be used for other softwares with some common features.
  • Reliability: A software is authentic if the user can rely on the features of the software and its usage for longer duration. This feature of the software helps the organizations in choosing the product for their sensitive data. The demand of the product is directly proportional to the reliability of the software. The product or software is reliable if it’s also stable. The business owners prefer the stable product in order to get the higher availability of the same for the users.
  • Flexibility: There should be always a scope of the extension of the functionality within the developed product. This feature is known as flexibility. The software is designed in such a way that it should provide a room for expansion even after the deployment of the end product. The flexibility of the product depends on the design and techniques used for the development of the product and thus a business analyst has to take care of certain steps while finalizing the software design and development techniques.
  • Supportability: This feature of the software or the product is massively used during the maintenance phase. The ability to deploy new releases, alter the code, customization as per the users’ locations are covered under this feature. The customization of the product should not hamper the international usage and it should target the local users only.
  • Performance: How well the software performs at different timings for different number of users is defined under this capacity of the software. There is a common agreement on the performance of the software which is signed off at the time of BRD sign-off and it helps in designing the software and hardware structure of the product accordingly.

There are no proper methods present or followed by different business analysts in order to derive the non-functional requirements. This is because the abstraction level of the non-functional requirements are not similar to the functional requirements and for different softwares or products the set of non-functional requirements changes. Some nonfunctional requirements are difficult to define or express due to certain constraints which are evolved during the design and development and thus they are not included during the documentation process. As there are no guidelines or rules comparing with, the non-functional requirements are sometimes secluded or undermined which may result in the catastrophe during extensive usage of the software.

Different stakeholders have their own understanding and in turn requirements. This is also true in the case of the non-functional requirements. The stakeholders’ requirements thus should be catered separately and their needs should not be treated as a landmark while testing the non-functional requirements.

Nonfunctional requirements thus are treated as an important aspect while designing the software and these requirements should be analyzed, precisely measured and developed accordingly for the successful implementation of the software and usage of the end product.

 

Happy Reading!!!

leader vs boss

Seven points differentiating The Boss and The Leader

The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. – Theodore Roosevelt

leader vs bossWhen someone says Boss, the mind immediately designs the picture of a fellow with a finger-pointing attitude. Today, even with the introduction of open-culture in different segments of working some bosses are not affable and this ultimately results as a bad omen for their image before their subordinates. On the other hand a leader is a person who grows with the team, who believes in being the part of the change and always ready to wear the hat of the subordinates.

Do you believe you are a good boss? Do you believe you are a leader? But do you think you are a boss wrapped in the skin of a leader? I have tried to figure out seven points which I feel act as a hindrance in the way of a boss becoming a good leader. A slight change in the attitude can simply change the way of thinking and change the results tremendously.

1. Boss preaches; Leader teaches: There is a quality in a boss to preach his subordinates about the scenarios. He is always ready to deliver a speech on current situations but don’t have an attitude of making his hands dirty. On the other hand the leader instead of pontificating believes in listening, engaging, observing and learning. A leader is the one who strives with his team or group for the best output and enables the team to perform without his presence. The leader teaches about the self-learning while boss preaches the already defined concepts.

Continue reading

I am leader

I am a Leader because…

I am leaderA genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. ~ Nelson Mandela 

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

These are few of the quotes from the renowned and brilliant leaders the history ever had and I have started this article with these quotes as I admire these leaders the most. People talk about changes and different aspects of how to see the changes but I believe the only way to change is to be the part of the change. In this simple article I will try to bring forth different aspects on why should I be called as a Leader?

I am a Leader because:

I am the captain of the ship: Like captain of a ship is responsible for the life of hundreds of commuters, I being the leader of a group am responsible for the growth of the people in the group. I being the captain have the responsibility to take right decisions at right time. As the captain of the drowning ship is the last fellow to jump off the ship, I being the leader have the duty to save my group during the crisis.

Continue reading

BA - choice

Business Analysis – By Choice

BA - career choiceDo you aspire to be a business analyst?

Do you think you have taken enough steps but still not got right opportunity?

Have you prepared yourself to grow in the field of business analysis?

Have you thought of other opportunities which better fit your goals?

These are some of those important questions which should be answered before a career plan for a business analyst is followed. Believe me there are certain scenarios where after working for many years people don’t find relevant profiles and this is only because the right approach of growing was not followed. Once you have decided becoming a business analyst, you need to do some introspection to prove your skills to nobody else but to yourself.

With the growth of technologies and techniques, every sector is now growing and the intellect of the people working in these sectors is increasing. With the involvement and growth of outsourcing industry the platter is always full with different ideas and a volunteer is needed to segregate the most correct ones (as no idea is right or wrong till the brainstorming is done on the same). This need of having someone skilled professional is catered by business analysts. Business analysts act as a liaison between different stakeholders and maintain the spirit of collaboration by managing the ideas and requirements. They need to take care of every idea pitched during different sessions of elicitation and document the most correct ones in understandable format. Business analysis is not inbuilt ability and certainly it can be taught and learned. There are different knowledge areas for business analysis which can be learned with course of time but I firmly believe that self-evaluation is needed before stepping into the career of a business analyst. Recognize your skills and groom them to grow in the field of business analysis instead of dying like an elephant whose hind leg is tied with a chain since he was an infant and he could not recognize his strength. Think like that golden eagle which despite of grown with the chickens recognized its strength and have flown in the sky.

Continue reading

Requirements Prioritization

Requirements once elicited and approved from the authentic sources are further put for analysis and the first step in the process of requirement analysis is to prioritize the requirements in the order of their implementation. It is mandate for business analysts to prioritize the requirements as it’s a process to add value to the deliverables. The business analyst (or the one seated on the business analyst’s chair) has to consider certain factors while prioritizing the requirements so that the smooth process can be implemented. These factors or aspects which are considered at the time of prioritizing the requirements are: importance, risk, cost, benefit, time, strategy etc. The software development is a set process and the requirements are said to be changing till the final version is deployed in the production environment for the end-users and thus its a challenge for a business analyst to keep track of the requirements and alter the priority with the progress in the development but the decision on prioritizing the requirements depends on the decisions made by the stakeholders involve in the project and business analysts being a liaison between different stakeholders have to co-ordinate the activity.

Why to prioritize the requirements?

Eliciting the requirements and fit them into the releases to develop the functionality is a major step towards the success of the development of the software/project and it’s very important to understand the risk of not prioritizing the requirements. In the words of Frederick P. Brooks, “The highest single part of building a software system is deciding precisely what to build… No other part of the work cripples the resulting system if done wrong. No other part is more difficult to rectify later” Thus to mitigate the risk of re-work in the later part of the development, it’s advisable to define the requirements and prioritize them before starting the implementation. In simple words, “No matter prioritization technique is considered simple, medium or difficult it’s a fundamental activity for successful implementation.”

Continue reading

Requirement Management

Requirements Management

Requirement ManagementThe gap between “what we know” and “what we think we know” is filled by the knowledge and the experience. What we know is about the facts and what we think we know succinct the assumptions. This is marked as the baseline for the business analysts (or the one seated on the chair of BA) during the requirements management and thus the BAs have to strive always to maintain the credibility of the requirements throughout the project life-cycle. The most appropriate way to mitigate the chances of bogus requirements getting developed or documented is to frame questions and avoid muddiness. The BAs are advised to focus on the different aspects of the requirements and then frame questions to nullify the chances of any ambiguity during the requirement elicitation and documentation.

What is Requirement?

Referring to the world of dictionary, the requirement is described as, “Something which is necessary and must be fulfilled to achieve the result”. Requirement word itself is self-explanatory and sometimes begets a cringing feeling (especially with the phrase “change in requirement”). But this should not happen with the BAs as they have the primary tasks to manage and maintain the requirements’ credibility throughout the life-cycle of the project.

Continue reading

communication techniques

Requirement Communication

Requirements are the spine to any project. The more precisely requirements are gathered and analyzed; the more effective becomes the implementation. Thus it is important for a Business analyst to understand all the details of the requirements shared by business owners and subject matter experts and more importantly communicate the same to different stakeholders on time to avoid any delays in the implementation. Communication is one of the pillars of the project and it helps in explaining the tasks and responsibilities to different stakeholders. Business analyst being a bridge between different stakeholders is responsible for managing the requirements throughout the project life cycle. Proper and on-time communication of the requirements helps the stakeholders to reach the common understanding and which results in on-time and hassle-free implementation.

Requirements once elicited, analyzed and documented should be communicated to different stakeholders to maintain the authenticity of the same. Business analyst manages the requirements throughout the project life-cycle, thus it becomes his core responsibility that everyone involved in the project implementation should know the details of the requirements. The documents prepared with the requirements (functional and non-functional) details should be validated from the business sponsors. Solution design and assessment is done on the basis of the requirements elicited and thus it’s very critical that the designers and architects should know about the requirements and variations as the design is completely influenced by the nature of the requirements. There are certain methods followed by different business analysts to communicate the requirements including presentation and workshops but the end result is to convey the meaning and the stakeholders should be able to understand all the details.

Continue reading

seven-threats

Seven threats to Business analyst

Business Analysis is now very familiar in IT industry and different organizations have now started creating a separate position for an individual who can act as a bridge among different stakeholders. Before the introduction of this position, the project managers or team leaders were asked to act as a single point of contact for different stakeholders to solve the queries and to maintain the pace of the project. But with the advancement of the techniques, it started becoming difficult for them to manage multiple tasks and thus the productivity was hampered. Then business analysts came into existence who not only have fair understanding of the requirements but also understand the methods to maintain the pace of the project and now IT industry is relied on the business analysts to fulfill the increasing demands and BAs are now the part of the core team.

With the inclusion of business analysts in the core work force, many organizations believe that the implementation rate is much higher than before and this not only matters with the quantity but also with the quality of the work delivered. Business analysts being the liaison among different stakeholders remain in touch with all stakeholders and in case of any variance in the requirements mark them and escalate it with the dependent parties. That is they always intend to manage the requirements throughout the project life cycle or SDLC.

Continue reading