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Business planning – a template is only half the story!

FOR BUSINESS PLANNING CALL GARY DIRECT ON 0408 756 531

Most business plans simply follow a template that ensures all the boxes are ticked and every aspect of the new venture has been addressed, e.g. structure, people, product, manufacture, marketing, etc.

However, the business planning template alone fails to match the person to the business; it fails to develop and grow the owner into the business; and it fails to show a person how to grow the business into a valuable asset.

You can have the best business plan in the world but still be at a complete loss to know how to successfully operate a business.  People who are new to business must consider more than just the words on the pages of a business plan. 

Here is what people really struggle with in business planning:

1.      Being in the right business head space

Some people have a mind for business and others don’t.  Coming from an employee background into business is a big leap because there is more to business than showing up for work each day and doing routine tasks.  It is important to approach business with an attitude of self belief and self reliance, with a willingness to do whatever it takes.  For most people, it means loneliness, difficult decisions, and being stretched a long way out of their comfort zone.

2.      Having sufficient business skills

The most common profile of the new business starter is someone who is skilled in a trade, a profession or other personal service and decides to become self employed.  The other common profile is the person who has a skill in making something.  What they all have in common is the technical skills to perform a service or make a product.  Many have no selling skills and most lack the wide range of other skills (including financial management) required to grow their business and build a valuable long term asset.

3.      How to take the first step

You only have to visit the ‘Starting a Business’ forum on Flying Solo to see the inordinate number of questions people ask about getting an ABN, registering a business name, being a sole trader, setting up a company, trademarks, registering for GST, employing a person on PAYG, and getting a website.   For many it is a struggle just to get through that part; and the real business hasn’t even begun yet.

4.      How to be action-oriented

A lot of people struggle when the theorising stops and decisive action is required.  As an owner, ‘action’ usually means contacting people, forming relationships and performing those tasks that directly relate to building sales and profit.  Initial enthusiasm can quickly turn to disheartenment after a few knock-backs or when thing don’t go as planned.  It can be a difficult challenge to keep moving forward under pressure of dwindling cash flow.

For more reading on business planning check out my Business Planning 101 Introduction at  http://garyweigh.com/business-planning-101-introduction.html

Until next time!

Gary

gary@garyweigh.com

Business planning – buying a business with no financials available!!

FOR BUSINESS PLANNING AUSTRALIA CALL GARY DIRECT ON 0408 756 531

If as a result of my business planning I was buying a business from someone who insisted that their business was a good buy but refused to hand over any financial statements or supporting information, I would run a mile.

It is always hard to know the reason for the reluctance but experience suggests it is either a rubbish business or else it could be this!  

It is easy for owners in cash-based businesses to take cash from the cash register and never bank it or record it.  Many owners confuse the concepts of revenue and profit.  They believe that all money that is generated from sales is theirs.

Uhmm … no … big mistake!

There is that small matter of paying suppliers and all business overheads.  What is then left over is available to be drawn by the owner and pocketed.

Living out of the cash register’ is a dangerous practice for the following reasons: 

  • It leads to cash flow problems because creditors can remain unpaid as a result of short-banked revenue
  • If the pocketed cash is not accounted for as sales revenue and then as owner’s wages / drawings, there is going to be some false statements made on a tax return.  Not declaring income taxable amounts to tax fraud.  This will bring the ATO down on the owners head like a ton of bricks.
  • When it comes to selling the business, the true value of the business can’t be substantiated because part of the sales revenue was pocketed instead of banked.  If a subsequent ‘bank reconciliation’ is to balance then the temptation arises not to record the sales either.  However, the cost of sales must still be paid and harder to hide.  Therefore the business looks like it has low sales, low margins and low profit- and its value becomes diminished. 
  • The practice often leads to keeping a two sets of books – one for the tax office (ATO) and one for a prospective buyer
  • If the business owes money to a bank manager or if a loan is being applied for, it is common that the bank wants to see regular financial statements (often monthly).  Problems will arise if the bank can’t reconcile true sales figures with actual short-banked receipts (which the bank can plainly see).  Lying to the bank can also have dire consequences including loan refusal or a demand for full and immediate repayment of an existing loan.
  • Even if two sets of books are secretly kept for a long period of time without discovery, there will come a day when the secret has to be revealed to a prospective buyer. 

So who wants to admit fraud to a perfect stranger?  It is easier to refuse to hand over the financials.  If you encounter this – walk away!   It is odds on that the owner is living out of the cash register and keeping two sets of books.

For more on business planning check out Famous Failures of the Most Successful People In The World at http://garyweigh.com/starting-up-your-own-business.html

Until next time!

Gary

gary@garyweigh.com

Business planning – Think before you leap!

Gary Weigh

FOR BUSINESS PLANNING AUSTRALIA CALL GARY ON 0408 756 531

If you are business planning a great idea that you think will make you money; or if you simply want to turn your passion or vocation into a business, stop and think before you leap.

The world is a constantly changing place and there are a few boxes to tick when you are planning a new business venture.  Here are 9 business planning must-haves to think about:

ONLINE!

No business will be able to survive in the future without an interactive online presence.

WOW FACTOR!

People (not computers) are gifted with creativity and insight; be an innovator not a ‘me-too’

GLOBAL!

The world market is only a click away, and so are the related international challenges to address.

INSTANT!

Time is the consumer’s scarcest resource, making convenience always in high demand.  Consumers won’t wait for you or abide by your inflexible structure.  They want products and services now.  Baby boomers were taught to wait but even they are changing their attitudes.

FREE!

The internet business community is developing as a “cheap or free” economy.  So you will have to be innovative in the way you generate revenue.

COLLABORATION!

New concepts are evolved by combining ideas; by building upon what’s gone before.  Similarly, concepts are implemented by sharing resources (i.e. human, intellectual and technological capital).

SOCIAL!

Instant communication, online social networking, information sharing and fan-base dynamics will play an ever increasing role in making and breaking businesses.

DIFFERENCES!

Businesses survive and grow on their differences, not their sameness.  Also look past your operating difference and your bottom line to making a social difference and an environmental difference.

CONNECTIVITY!

You are not a disconnected being; you are a descendant of about 300,000 years of human life, and a couple of billion years of evolving life form before that.  You are the latest product of the environment and the universe.  So make the most of your shelf life; be open to making positive connections with everything and everyone around you.  Don’t resist and do your best not to get in the way of natural connectivity.

For more on business planning in australia, check out First Rule of Planning at http://garyweigh.com/the-first-rule-of-planning.html

Until next time!

Gary

Don’t put your family at risk.  Your business is your future; your retirement; your jewel in the crown.  Protect it!

Learn how to build a powerful presence.  Visit my Aikido Secrets blog site

Business planning – build your own financial fortress

Business planning is part of life planning.  Running a business is one choice of how you earn your income.  Employment is the other choice.  Getting a job may appear less risky in the short term but ultimately comes with less control.  So which is better?

I am not being a profit of doom here, but experience tells me that life changes and on occasions, quite dramatically.  It is not a linear experience from start to finish.  Life, including business, is an adventure with many highs and lows, interspersed with comfortable periods of coasting along in neutral.

Over time, people grow, change and want different things.  People leave and others enter.  Children are born, parents die.  Fortune and misfortune are sprinkled throughout.

Whilst you can’t control what happens around you, it is possible to take control of your own attitude and responses to the inevitability of change.  You can build a solid financial base which can become your personal (financial and emotional) fortress in tough times. 

How do you achieve this?  The first step is to take control over the generation and protection of your income!  Don’t leave it to chance. 

Look at it this way!  While ever you work for someone else you are not in control of your own income.  Your income could cease next week.  Sickness, accident, premature death, theft, fire and natural disasters are just some of the commonplace risks in life.

Whilst ever you fail to take the initiative and put protection in place to guard against life’s more obvious risks, you are leaving your future to chance.

Similarly, whilst ever you rely on a spouse or partner for your food shelter and lifestyle, you are not in control of your life and you future will be determined by someone else.  To survive in the long term in this world, you must have your own money and protective measures in place.

The deceptively warm feeling of your present comfort zone does not necessarily equate to your own solid self-built financial fortress.

To many people, business planning for a new enterprise sounds a lot more risky than the security of a good job but, in the long term, it is that self-made, steady income falling into your bank account come rain hail or shine that is the real security.

Email me at gary@garyweigh.com for your Financial Fortress Fact Sheet.

Until next time!

Gary 

For more reading about Business Planning read The Borrowing Trap

Business planning – the way of harmony

Wooden prayer tablets

The basics of business planning are relatively easy.  It is the values you hold and how you treat and interact with others that will ultimately define your business.

After practicing the non-aggressive and non-competitive art of Aikido for many years, I can share with confidence the benefits of my own experiences.  Within the development of the non-fighting mind lays a great mental foundation for achievement.  

It is not restricted to achievement in business.  It extends to all aspects of life.  The benefits of a martial mind are not skill specific.  They can be applied to achievement of what ever you want.   

The non-fighting mind has infinitely wide application!

Of course, this is not the first time that martial principles have been applied to the conduct of business.  Remember Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?  That book became a worldwide sensation; and a reference for aggressive corporate decision making in Western society for many years.

The difference here is that Aikido is the art of peace, not war.  Instead of applying principles of war, the principles of peace are applied to the conduct of business.   It requires a different mindset but they are vastly more powerful.

It takes a long time to become proficient in the art of peace; just as it takes a long time for those with a fighting mind to choose peace over intimidation and aggression.

The Art of war found application in large companies who had or wanted dominating and intimidating market force.  Even though the central theme of this ancient classic was to win without fighting, a thinly veiled threat to unleash half a million blood thirsty warriors still amounts to intimidation.

The Art of Peace is for smaller business; those who would otherwise be defenseless against the intimidating behavior of corporate predators whose power lies in size and strength.  So bear in mind that your business planning can build a small but very powerful presence based on the Principles of Peace.

Visit my Aikido Secrets blog site http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com for more information on Aiki Principles of harmony and their application in everyday life.

Until next time!

Gary

Limited private lessons: MIND-BODY BALANCE (call 0408 756 531)

TAKE an innovative approach to business planning ….. or a new direction in your life!!

Develop a strong positive mind! Learn what it takes to find your power furnace and blaze your own trail!

 

Think about being assertive with confidence and without your Ego getting in the way; without being argumentative or overly defensive, and without the constant need to be right.

Think about being successful by simply getting your obstructive mind out of the way and allowing success to happen.

Think about conquering in terms of controlling your self instead of trying to control others.

Think about building core strength that doesn’t involve involve endless hours of pumping iron!!

Think about being powerful by using nothing but the power of your breath!!

 

Mind-Body Balance is based on the ancient Japanese principles of Aiki.  ‘Ai‘ means harmony.  ‘Ki‘ means the universal energy that flows through us all and connects all things.

Mind-body Balance allows you to access power beyond all measures of physical strength.  Aiki is the same internal power that drives the phenomenal Japanese art of Aikido.

The foundation of Mind-Body Balance is relaxation and meditation.  It follows the Eastern philosophy that mind is everything.  Mind is body and body is mind!  Your true power comes from relaxation!!

The Mind-Body Balance program is designed to develop your inner strength.  You will learn by doing.  Once you learn how to calm your mind in an instant, you will acquire insight into some truly amazing aiki-based mind-body concepts by doing a series of internal power generating exercises.

We don’t do miracles but in your first lesson you will see the first outward expression of your unrealized mind power – in the form of your own unbendable arm.

Change your life! If you live in Southeast Queensland, call 0408 756 531 for personal training.   If you live elsewhere contact us by email at coach@garyweigh.com to enroll in Mind-Body Balance Online.

For more reading on business planning, being different and finding financial peace, visit my Aikido Secrets blog site http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Business planning – the element of non-conformity

Non-conformity; be different

As I said in my last business planning post, there are two distinctive traits that work strongly in the favour of the everyday entrepreneur.  These are:

  • Previous experience; and
  • Non-conformity

Non-conformity is the desire to break from the pack to be different – thinking different and acting different.  Now that takes courage, because most of us have spent our entire lives doing our very best to conform so that we didn’t attract the negative attention of bullies, the law, our teachers or dissenting family and friends.

Think about your many long and perhaps painful years in school.  It was all about conformity, in terms of learning, performance, presentation and behaviour.  It didn’t always pay to be different; and that still holds true!

Entrepreneurs emerge through the innovative application of the very same knowledge that everyone accumulates; sometimes less.  As far as business principles go, there is nothing new under the Sun.  But in terms of business application there is plenty new; so much so, it is hard to keep up.

Entrepreneurs may have learned the same way as you or I did, but they apply knowledge differently to satisfy the needs of a wider audience.   They also have the courage and determination to put their innovative thoughts into action, and to ignore their detractors.

Of course the flip-side of the same argument explains why there are so few entrepreneurs in relation to the wider population.  Simply put, we are trained not to be!

Society is structured around conformity.  It is much easier to conform than not.  Non-conformity means having to rebel and mentally break out of lifelong habits; to swim against the tide.  That is really hard to do!

Conformity generally attracts praise, mostly because it reinforces in others that the safe decisions they have made in their own lives are indeed the right ones.  Non-conformity makes others feel uncomfortable and ill at ease with their own choices.  Hence, it attracts jealousy, skepticism and criticism.  For those who become successful, there awaits the mother lode of negativity – the ‘tall poppy’ syndrome.

I will continue on the subject of non-conformity in my next business planning blog.  Check out my other blog at http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com/

Until next time!

Gary

Business planning – it’s holistic approach whether you know it or not!

In business planning as in all other life maneuvering, we are primarily concerned with ourselves – our own sense of worth, our own dreams and ambition.

So it is not surprising that the success of business planning is highly dependent on the owner.  The characteristics and qualities of the owner ultimately shape a business.  That is why Angel Investors look closely at the qualities and capabilities of the entrepreneur and his or her team.

In business planning, no two businesses are the same.  It may look that way at the start of the process but it is never that way at the end.

When Gary Weigh & Associates works with a client to plan a new business or to renovate an existing business, the same principles apply but no two outcomes are ever the same.

Every business is painted the colour of its owner; and that colour is derived from the owner’s personality, beliefs, values, strengths and weaknesses.  Importantly, the way each business is operated reflects its owner’s state of mind.

The state of an owner’s personal life and relationships will have a direct influence on the business, as does the owner’s financial position.

That is why we insist on planning your business venture around your desired lifestyle.  Most people don’t do lifestyle planning, just as they pay little more than lip service to genuine business planning.

At Gary Weigh & Associates, personal life balance and business life balance are planned together.  Even then it is not a fixed narrow path.  It is an open, flexible approach.

This method has evolved over time as it has become obvious that template-type business planning simply doesn’t work.  There is more to it than product, market, structure and organisation alone.

This holistic approach is the only one that works these days, because in a fast and furious business environment, it addresses the needs of the whole person and related stakeholders beyond the business realm.

Until next time!

Gary

To read more about work-life balance and the value of a calm mind, visit my Aikido Secrets site at:

http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com/life-balance-%E2%80%93-achieving-the-right-family-balance-for-you.html

Business planning – it is all in the mind

Even in business planning, the brain is the most amazing gift we have. It is unique in its abilities and nothing we manufacture on earth can match it.  Unlike any computer the brain is capable of conscious thought, reason, insight, self awareness, abstraction and self protection.

What is truly amazing is that the brain never puts out a sign to say “I’m full!”  We can always build upon our ability to get more out of it.  It is a ‘use it or lose it’ nerve centre, sensory processor, thought factory and body regulator.

The more we learn, the more we actively use the brain.  The more we train the brain, the more powerful it becomes.  The brain thrives on the benefit of experience.  Our previous experiences build that context.  Therefore, when we use our eyes to see, we actually see in context.  Our perceptions don’t necessarily equate to reality.

When we decide to act, it is the brain that is actually leading the charge.   We generally make decisions based on what has worked well in the past (i.e. context).  When starting a business, there is often little or no direct previous experience to call on, but decisions are still made, rightly or wrongly.

All too often, blind enthusiasm can sweep the business novice past the commitment stage onto the business path.  Sometimes it is the right path.  Sometimes it is not!  Either way, there is no turning back.

The first serious reality check can find the first time entrepreneur immobilised in the middle of a new reality, unsure how to proceed; seeking solutions to problems never faced before.

Suddenly, procrastination and inaction are not options.  They are pre-commitment luxuries.  Solutions must be found for problems like chequered cash flow, ineffective marketing and unreliable relationships; problems typically encountered in a business start up.

Only a calm mind and positive action can find effective solutions.  Panic only serves to make the situation worse because the panicked mind always gives way to fear and plays out all manner of imagined outcomes of doom.  It becomes worse if the new owner is alone with no help.

I will continue on the need for a powerful business mind in my next business planning blog.  Check out my other blog at http://www.aikido-secrets–to-calm-success.com

Learn Aikido – the art of peace and develop your own calm positive mind http://www.griffithaikido.com.au

Until next time!

Gary

Design your life and income YOUR WAY!

When you undertake life planning and business planning bear in mind that there is plenty of everything in this world except time!

If you want to generate a high income and live the lifestyle you dream of, you must design your work and your life in a time economic fashion.  You have only so much time and the clock is ticking.

There are no hard and fast rules about how to make money – apart from the obvious like:

  • Chase demand
  • Create a great offer
  • Be legal
  • Be ethical
  • Be trustworthy; and
  • Keep your income higher than your expenses.

There is no rule that says you must follow the herd to work each day and sell your time.
With a little creativity and determination, there are endless ways to make money, particularly with low cost internet access to a whole world full of customers.

Think different!  Use your imagination!  Leave the herd!

If you haven’t read – The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss …. You should!

Tim Ferriss is way out there!  He is far away from herd mentality in his thinking about how to live a full life and generate the income to finance it.

He is young and adventurous ….. and whether he actually works 4 hours a week or not is not the point.  The point is that he is living the life he wants!   And he is making the money to finance it.

On www.garyweigh.com/blog, I have always emphasized that success is born out of differences, not sameness!  Being like everyone else will get you nowhere.

I have also hammered the point that doing more, working harder and going faster does not always equate to productivity.  It is planning, focus and working smarter (and often doing less) that gets you the work-life balance you dream of.

I don’t want to duplicate Tim Ferriss’s life but I sure like some of his ideas, particularly in the areas of non-herd thinking, time economy and outsourcing …. and so will you!

The 4-Hour Workweek is available from Amazon via the e-store on the right hand side of this page →   →   →

Until next time!

Gary

If you want to read more about planning the life you want, visit my Aikido Secrets blog and read my Life Balance series starting with The Mindset for life

http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com/aikido-secrets-%E2%80%93-the-mindset-for-life-continued.html