BEP 392 – Project Management English: Scoping a Project (2)

BEP 392 - Project Management English: Scoping a Project 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on pricing strategy. This is the second of a pair of lessons on project management English and scoping new work for a client.

Every project is its own animal. Sure, you might run different projects with similar tools and approaches, or apply standard processes. But with different clients, at different times, and with even small differences in inputs, each project is different. And that means pricing is different.

Once you’ve talked with a client to clarify and nail down the project scope, what happens next? Well, the client will want something on paper – whether that’s a full-blown proposal and bid or a simple quotation. And one of the most important things they’ll be looking at is price. So as a team, you need to figure out a strategy to bid on each project.

Your pricing strategy is going to depend on a few things. First off, it’s going to depend on your capacity and the client’s perception of value. Then you’ll have to figure out your bid strategy, which may work upward from a minimum viable product. Or you may take a different approach like hourly pricing. And there are always intangibles you need to take into account when deciding how to price your bid.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Jill and Martin, who work for a software development company. They are working out a pricing strategy for a project that Jill has already scoped. They’re trying to figure out the right approach for the two options they’re proposing to the client.

Listening Questions

1. What is the first concern Jill expresses during the conversation?
2. How will they direct the client toward their alternative approach?
3. How will the client’s timeline affect their pricing strategy?

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BEP 391 – Project Management English: Scoping a Project (1)

BEP 391 - Project Management English: Scoping a Project 1

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to scope a project. This is the first of a pair of lessons on project management English and scoping new work for a client.

So what does it mean to “scope” a project? We use this word “scope” to describe what’s included and what’s not included in a project or agreement. So when we “scope” something, we’re asking questions and trying to understand what’s involved in a project.

There are many obvious questions you might ask when scoping new work. But you’ll likely find yourself having to educate the client about technical issues and costs. You may have to dig deep into assumptions and address client concerns. And you may have to present different solutions for the client to consider. In this way, scoping isn’t just about asking for simple project details. It’s both factual and relational.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to Jill, a software developer, talk with Ivan. Ivan works for a large retailer that wants to make significant changes to their HR software. Jill is asking questions to try to understand the company’s wants and needs so she can scope the project and put together a proposal.

Listening Questions

1. What does Jill believe Ivan is suggesting about their current approach?
2. What does Jill say about the cost of what Ivan is asking for?
3. At the end of the conversation, what does Ivan ask Jill to include in her proposal?

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Business English News 48 – Cryptocurrency

Business English News 48 - Cryptocurrency

In this Business English News lesson we look at business English vocabulary related to cryptocurrency.

You’ve probably heard stories of young investors lured by the promise of quick gains in the world of “crypto,” or cryptocurrency. And while it’s Bitcoin that gets the lion’s share of attention, there are over 10,000 digital currencies in use today. There’s the big names, like Ethereum, Binance, and Ripple. And then there’s currencies like Dogecoin and Loser Coin, which started as jokes. If you’re confused by the hype, you’re not alone. So just what is cryptocurrency? According to Investopedia:

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

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BEP 371 – English for Startups 5: Demonstrating Leadership

English for Startups 5 - BEP 371 - Demonstrating Leadership

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for startups and demonstrating leadership.

In the early stages, startup companies are built on the ideas and energy of their founders. These are often smart, creative people with great technical knowledge and skills. And this creativity and technical know-how is crucial to bringing great ideas to life.

But very quickly, a startup becomes more than just one or two individuals. As it grows, it becomes a team of people. And as it changes, or pivots, the original founders need more than just creativity and technical skills. They need to be able to lead their team with passion.

Leading a team might not come naturally to every founder. Or to any manager in any type of company, tech startup or not. But you can learn and practice the skills of a being a great leader.

For starters, you’ll want to know how to be positive and show compassion for your team members. Taking care of your team will also involve responding decisively to needs. And people are depending on you to show them the vision behind all the hard work, and to underline the shared purpose of everyone on the team.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a startup founder named Quinn, who has recently pivoted his online payments company to focus on business customers. He’s talking with lead developer Jill, and a new marketing manager named Colin. To execute this pivot well, Quinn will have to call on all his leadership abilities to guide his team to success.

Listening Questions

1. How does Quinn set a positive tone at the start of the conversation?
2. What is the big vision, or change, the company wants to make?
3. How does Quinn respond to Jill’s request for help with infrastructure needs?

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BEP 366 – English for Startups 3: Addressing Investor Concerns

BEP 366 LESSON - Startup English 3: Answering Investor Questions

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on addressing investor concerns during a pitch in English.

One of the greatest skills in business is the art of persuasion. Whether you’re running a startup and wooing a big investor or trying to convince your boss to give you a pay raise you need to be able to persuade.

Of course, we often use a pitch or presentation to persuade, especially when looking for startup investment. But the pitch alone won’t seal the deal. The real test is handling questions and concerns after your pitch. Can you anticipate these concerns and be ready to address them? Can you think and speak on the fly? Do you have the confidence to back up what you’ve said in your presentation?

There are several concerns you might have to address. For one, you may have to explain exactly why your idea is unique. And you might also have to show clearly that you’re committed to the idea. One common investor concern is the valuation, or how much you think the company’s worth. You’ll need to justify your valuation clearly, and explain what you’ll do with the investor’s money. And through it all, you’ll be trying to show why you are backable, or deserve the investor’s support.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Quinn, who is seeking investment for his online payments company called Moolah. In our last lesson, Quinn gave his pitch to the investor. Now he has to address some tough questions and concerns from a potential investor named Mason.

Listening Questions

1. What does Quinn believe shows that he’s fully committed to the company?
2. What exactly does Quinn plan to do with the investor’s money?
3. Why does Quinn believe he is backable on a personal level?

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