Posts belonging to Category Time Management – Small Business



LEARN HOW FIRST – IT'LL SAVE YOUR ENERGY, TIME AND MONEY!

I’m a “rusher” – I get an idea and I want to jump into it right away and get it done – that’s good and that’s bad.

Sometimes, for short-term solutions, it’s great!  It gets a lot out of the way, solves an issue and away we go!

But when starting your own business, it’s really not the way to go.  You need to REALIZE what you’re getting into.  The romance of “being your own boss” is just that – romance – and as with every other type of marriage in the earthling universe, there’s knowledge, skills, work and understanding that keeps the marriage buoyant and thriving.  And don’t think of going out to get an MBA if you haven’t already got one – it won’t help you do what you need to do – there are other ways.

Tool:  So, begin with a list of what you know how to do and then beside it a list of what you don’t know how to do but you’ll need in your business.  For instance, most people in a job do one thing – they “do” marketing, manage a department, work in communications, sell, co-ordinate, etc.  There may be several components involved in each of these activities, however, the range is quite limited as compared to a business owner. 

Think of all the departments in a large corporation – simply go to the web to find this information if you don’t already know it or want to check that you have a complete list.

How long does it take to learn all of these things?  Depends whether you got the tradional way (university, college, etc.) or where you take shortcuts to getting just what you need for your particular enterprise.

Begin here in any case – make the list – figure it out.

U.S. AND CANADA – GET SOBER! BUSINESS SOBER, THAT IS!

Canadians and Americans need to sober up about business in was once “the center of the universe”.  The reality that these two countries faces is sobering.  Read this article and you’ll know what I mean – so if you’re thinking about going into business for yourself, think seriously about your strategy – your “target market” –

http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20091031/BUSINESS/910310319/1003/business

EXTROVERTS – GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

A client said to me in an email recently that it was difficult for her to get back to tasks after an enjoyable telephone conversation.  Knowing her extroverted personality, I wasn’t surprised. 

Extroverts are energized by talking to people – they like to laugh, talk and just love to be around people.  Isolation is a real motivation killer for an extrovert.

Being an entrepreneur of a one-person company, of course, there will be a lot of time necessary spent alone doing proposals, reports, billing and a host of other tasks associated with a small business.

My advice to her:  after a great telephone conversation, take a break.  Make yourself a cup of tea, relax for 15-20 minutes, and then get back to work.  Even a short walk around the block will help.  It’s a way for an extrovert to “come down” from the high s/he gets from interacting with people.

So, if you’re an extrovert – try it – I know it works – it’s the only way because if you force yourself to get back to tasks right away, you’ll be hyper, uninterested in what you are doing and, maybe, even feel as though you’ll blow up if you sit and work.  The energy either has to be dissipated or used up before you can get back to the type of activity that is really not your preference. 

 

THE BIGGEST SILENT KILLER OF BUSINESS!

There is an pandemic out there and it has nothing to do with a virus. It kills more profit, more businesses than I would imagine any one other thing could ever do.  Are there stats?  No – unfortunately not but most people who have worked in these companies will tell you the same thing – the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing!  

So I have no real, tangible, measurable proof.  However, you can test it for yourself.

Ask most managers to describe precisely what each person on their team is doing and how each job interlaces with everyone else’s work on the team and within the company.  Most managers and executives will not be able to tell you.  Why?  Because they just don’t know. Why?  Because they are concentrating on meetings, measurables, reports, marketing – all the things which are easy to put on paper – gathering information as they did in university to create a paper.

The most important thing is ignored – their operations, their structure and worst of all . . . . their people.  They have no understanding of their operations and their systems.  They just don’t know.

Any small business must start out on the right foot in creating their business and that means understanding the basics.  Understanding how much time they really have.  Understanding who they are.  Understanding how little they understand about putting together an efficient and effective small business so they spend the majority of their time making money.  It’s so intricate the dance of the small business person, but, like a symphony orchestra all the pieces must be there, interlocked in sync and working for them rather than against them.

Most small business people simply don’t know how in the same way that most managers don’t know how because the concentration is elsewhere.

I can tell from experience having worked with a multi-billionaire and multi-millionaire business people, if you don’t understand what you do, what your people do and how your organization is structured, you will never make as much profit as you would like and you’ll be chasing your tail most of the time.  You won’t understand why you have so many people working for you but you are still doing a lot of the work yourself.  You won’t understand how your sales are through the roof but you’re not making the right profit.  You won’t understand how to restructure in a down cycle.  You won’t understand what is happening day to day which is killing your business.

Think about it – very seriously before it’s way too late.

SMALL BUSINESS – HOW LONG DOES IT REALLY TAKE TO GET ONE STARTED?

Hello - yes, I can help you - my business is just right for what you need!

Hello - yes, I can help you - my business is just right for what you need!

 

How long does it really take to start a new business?  Depends.

If you are bound and determined that you are going to start a “perfect” new business, then the answer is never.  If you want to just get going developing  an idea that has “haunted” you for quite a while, then the answer is today.  Then there are the variations in between both of these based on people’s different personalities and how big of a business you want to build.  Start very, very small – the bare minimum – try it on for size first.

Small business is easy and it’s difficult.  Why?  Because of the enormity of information, the lack of really good training for small business hopefuls and the confusion of how, what, where, when, who, why and even the what.  What is a person to do?

Start.  What do I mean by that?  Just begin.  Don’t think business plan just yet – just get a business going.  But you don’t know what you’ll need – here is a starter list for small business hopeful:

  • business name – start with your own – you can change the name later eg if your name is Jane Dexter and you want to start a cleaning business, call it Jane Dexter Home Cleaning Services – simple.  You don’t even have to register your company at this point – just begin.  You don’t have to charge GST until you reach $30,000 per year.
  • get yourself a domain name and create a free website on Google and the many other free website providers or inexpensive web hosts such as hostmonster, bluehost, etc.  Create a couple of pages such as your Home Page, About Page, and maybe a couple of pages on organizing or cleaning or whatever.
  • decide on what you’ll charge after some preliminary research on the web
  • decide what kind of client you want
  • go to a local small printer, (a small business too) show them your website and ask them to produce a postcard for distribution as well as a standard business card which will match your website – make it really, really simple – business name, phone number, tag line (short 5 or 6 word expression of what you do under your business name), your name, and a list of services on the back of both your business card and your postcard – should cost around $50 for 200 postcards and $25 or $50 for a decent business card – don’t go crazy spending a lot of money on printing – you’re not ready for that yet – just get something done that is presentable.
  • decide where you’ll advertise and promote
  •  start 

Will this be a successful business?  Maybe.  The truth is that you’ll find out whether you really want to do this or not, you can do it while you still have a job, and it won’t cost you a lot of time, energy and money to give it a try.  Then you’ll know for sure if it is truly what you want to do.

Yes, there are a ton of other things you could do – but, let’s face it – you are neither creating something that hasn’t existed before in the world – the only newness about it is your entry into owning your own small business. 

Let’s say you love being in your own business and your business takes off.  What then?  I’ll talk about that in other segments.

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