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The value of training

Business consultancy Australia

You have probably heard of the SAS motto “Train hard, fight easy”.   It works for the military elite and it also works to produce elite business operators.  Does simply pulling on the uniform and picking up a rifle make you a soldier?  Absolutely not!  No more so than having a good idea and registering a business name making you a business operator.

In both cases, when the odds are against you and things look gloomy, your training and experience is all you have to rely on.   The difference between the elite and you is training – knowledge, skill, and experience.  My advice is “don’t leave home or start a business without it!”

Starting up a business – The pitfall of over-optimism and poor research

A big mistake in starting up a business is to get so carried away on a wave of beginner’s optimism that you are lulled into not doing sufficient homework.

You start to believe your own advertising to the point where you become convinced that people will come to you and buy your product or service, merely because you open the front door for business.

That is one of the great business myths and the downfall of many hopeful business starters.  Don’t let this happen to you!

It is really easy to rely on optimistic levels of sales and unrealistically low levels of expenses when you are formulating your first business plan and operating budget.  This is particularly dangerous when you have no sales and no history in your business to guide you.

Why? Because you are forced to rely on your own expectations!  Because you have everything riding on a successful outcome, you make unrealistic estimates.

In my experience, people who are desperate for their business to work tend to use over-optimism as the basis for those estimates.  The planning becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

You subconsciously fudge the process to get the results you want.  Of course you can make anything look good on paper by simply fiddling with the underlying assumptions.

It doesn’t help though.  The reality check quickly comes when you open for business and you see how wrong you assumptions were.

Then the journey gets really difficult.  Early losses start to mount up and sales remain nothing more than a trickle.

I can’t emphasise strongly enough how important it is to do your homework thoroughly and work with realistic assumptions.  It is important to be conservative when you don’t have runs on the board.  If it turns out that you have been too conservative, then you will get a pleasant surprise when the reality check comes.

If you are thinking of starting up a business and you want to retain a happy Life Balance, go visit http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Starting up a business – Don’t let small thinking derail your great idea

Another common flaw that I see among those starting up a business is to think in terms of survival only.  They measure their success in terms of still being in business in six month’s time.

This is a real mistake!  Doing things on a shoe-string budget invites shoe-string thinking.   Cutting corners and thinking small can cause you to adopt a defensive ‘small thinking’ attitude in the start up phase.  That is not good for business!

If you truly believe in your products and services, then you should look past the first few months and plan for a long and prosperous future.  What is required is an optimistic and assertive strategy.  Even though your resources may be scarce, it is a time for positive, expansive and innovative thinking.

Your business planning and your financial management should address the needs of a business destined to succeed.  That includes its ‘start up capital’ requirements.

“But I only have a very limited budget!” I hear you cry.

Everyone has limitations on their budget.  No one wants to spend more than they have to.  You must decide whether your limited budget is enough to achieve your goals or is it only enough to finance a slow and agonizing slide into oblivion.

If it is the latter, then figure out how to get more money, or don’t start.  That is the whole point of business planning and financial management.  You must do your homework thoroughly and face the future with realistic assumptions.

For more reading on financial management and your path to financial wellbeing, visit http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Starting up a business – cutting corners can be a financial management killer!

Gary Weigh - The Coach

Cutting corners on a lean start up budget is a very common ‘kill your business’ practice.  When starting up a business, it is done because of lack and necessity.  However, in terms of financial management, it could be something you regret later on.  One of the most common examples of corner-cutting that I see is….:

Seeking the cheapest quote for equipment and technology just to get started, even though it is unlikely to handle anything but the lowest levels of activity!

Second rate equipment and technology may be fine for low levels of business at the time of initial start up.  However, they may not be able to handle the increased volume of transactions and information that could multiply quickly as your business grows.

It could all be obsolete in a matter of weeks or months.

As customers hear of your leading edge offering and sales activity increases, expansion is a certainty.  If you cut corners however, expansion may prove fatal.  It may mean starting again with a complete scrapping of your low rate equipment and technology.

This means that you will have to invest money twice over in the first few months of trading.  Not only that!  Expansion may also mean hiring people and finding larger spaces.  Expansion is generally a time of tight cash flow.  It could spell the end of your business.

It seems ironic that your business could fail at a time when you have just weathered the storm and things never looked better.  But it happens a lot.  It is one of the common causes of business failure.

For more reading on starting up a business, financial management and your path to financial wellbeing, start reading from the library to your right!

Also visit http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Starting up a business – The importance of financial management

How much start up capital will I need? In my experience, the most common way for people starting up a business to estimate their start up capital needs, is to have an educated guess.  The problem is that the guess is not at all an educated one.   Hence the need for thorough business planning and competent financial management!

Those who do try to work it out generally underestimate what it takes to start a business.  Inexperience causes them to not consider many of the issues and costs involved.  Hence ‘initial set-up’ budgeting is done considering only the matters (and costs) that appear obvious to them.  This is often well short of commercial reality.

Many people thinking about starting up a business have no idea about the extent of what is actually involved.  Therefore, they are oblivious to all of the costs involved.

They wonder whether they should trade as a sole trader, a partnership or a company.  They are generally oblivious to the issues surrounding an ABN (Australian Business Number), business name registration, intellectual property and taxation.

It would be so easy to go see an accountant who would outline all the relevant issues and their costs but to many, that means having to spend money on stuff that seems irrelevant to the core task of starting up a business.

Hello!! You can’t hope to be in business without spending some money now and again.  Let me assure you that buying good advice is what the smart people starting up a business do.

For more reading on financial management and your path to financial wellbeing, visit http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Threats that can wipe out your business!

The recent floods in Brisbane and along the east coast of Australia have highlighted that fact that rising water and a host of other natural threats can obliterate years of hard work for business owners.

If rising or rushing water can wipe out your business, what else is out there that could do the same thing?  People tend not to think about the threats or plan for them, when starting up a business.

Here are seven (7) threats of nature that have the potential to put you out of business if you don’t plan for them.

  1. Flooding of business premises and connective infrastructure
  2. Destructive wind & rain events (e.g. cyclones, hurricanes & tornadoes)
  3. Fire (localized or bush fire)
  4. Drought & resultant water shortages
  5. Earth quakes & tremors
  6. Volcanic activity (lava, ash, gas, tsunami)
  7. Environmental disasters (e.g. ocean spills, pollution, toxic soil).  Although man-made, have the potential to affect natural resources and do wide scale damage.

We are at the mercy of nature always, no matter what we do or where we go.  We are also 100% dependent on a wide variety of technology that creates the environment in which we can live and work together in an orderly manner.

So it is not surprising that there are so many ways in which nature can interrupt our lives and our businesses.  It can be achieved by destruction of premises, equipment, machinery and stock, or simply by wreaking damage on the connective technology we depend on 24/7.  A prime risk to business is a power outage.  It can effectively halts life as we know it and if it goes on long enough, it will directly affect fuel and water supply.

When starting up a business, your business planning should involve more than simply assessing your opportunities and forecasting your profit.  You need to include an assessment of those risks most likely to affect your business, and formulating appropriate action.

Insurance will provide the financial protection and the means to repair or rebuild, but other strategies might include:

  • Avoidance – simply don’t set up shop where the risks are greatest
  • Backup – maintain offsite storage, equipment to generate power & stored water
  • Retreat – the means in advance to transfer to a higher or safer location

Check my other blog site http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com and learn how Aikido could make a life changing difference to the way you run your business.

Until next time!

Gary

Starting up your own business – identifying opportunity

Looking for business opportunities is fun.  It is an exciting and empowering process.  Opportunities, when converted, ultimately lead to business growth by adding new clients, new products and additional sales from existing clients.  There is nothing quite so self satisfying!

Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you – make them happen.  Opportunism is a business practice that doesn’t receive enough emphasis in business training.  It is the creation of everything.

So where is opportunity found?  The broad answer is ‘outside your business!’   There are far more revenue opportunities outside you business than inside it.  Opportunities inside your business are usually related to technology, cost reduction and productivity.

Opportunity seeking is a mindset, not a specific location.  Actively seeking opportunities for unfulfilled demand is central to the entrepreneurial spirit, but only a positive and optimistic mind will find them.

The opportunistic mindset is one of abundance, not of lack and scarcity.  If you think there is opportunity awaiting you, there is.  Alternatively, if you think there is no opportunity, there isn’t.

Your opportunity could be local, industry wide or global.  It all depends what you are looking for and how expansively you choose to think.  History is often a good teacher, so look to the past to find clues to future opportunity.  In looking for trends, consider the following questions in relation to the past 3-5 years.

  • Who has disappeared from your industry and why?
  • How has the internet changed your industry?
  • What new technology has been developed in your industry?
  • Do you see any product or service parallels between you industry and another industry?
  • Are your clients and their demands the same today as they were then?
  • Has government legislation banned, allowed or changed anything?

Expand your thinking outside of what you are currently doing.  Don’t allow your future to be determined only by your existing clients.  There is nothing more exciting than creating your own future by proactively identifying opportunities.  The future does not belong to procrastinators, but to brave business explorers.

When you find opportunity, don’t sit on it.  Most opportunities have a use-by date.  In other words, if you don’t act, someone else will sooner or later find it and act on it.  And where does that leave you? ….. Usually out in the cold thinking “Oh what could have been!”

If you are starting up your own business or want to boost your existing business read my latest book Recession Riches and Wealth at:

http://www.garyweigh.com/recession-riches-and-wealth

Until next time!

Gary