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Starting up a business – BOOK REVIEW

‘Small business for Dummies’ by Eric Tyson and Jim Schell

If you are thinking about starting up a business, you should read this book.  I have chosen this book to be in my personal library on this site because these guys have education, experience and most importantly, they start at the start.

In their usual ‘Dummies; style, Tyson & Schell assume nothing.  They do not credit the reader with any significant prior knowledge and they do not assume that the reader knows any of the common opportunities and pitfalls.

This book is a great guide for any novice to business.  It provides an introductory treatment across a wide range of business subject matter and would make a great reference book for the office..  Experienced business operators would probably prefer something a little more in depth.

The only drawback for Australians is that this is an American publication.  Therefore U.S. tax laws and other legal framework do not apply in Australia.  It is not an in-depth treatment and I would advise everyone to seek advice from an accountant and lawyer before starting up a business.

However, that does not detract much at all from the book.  Business basics and business principles remain constant the world over.  And what makes this book a ‘must have’ in your personal library is the easy writing style and easy to understand concepts.

For the budding entrepreneur with a great idea and no knowledge in starting up a business, this is a book to buy as one of your start up guides.  Find it in my personal library on the right hand side panel of this page → →

Until next time!

Gary

Also read the free download Aikido Secrets to Calm Success at http://www.aikido-secrets–to-calm-success.com

Starting up a business – the benefit of experience

When starting a business, there are two distinctive traits that work strongly in the favour of the everyday entrepreneur.  These are:

  • Previous experience; and
  • Non-conformity

Previous experience builds useful context for making decisions, many of which have to be made under some pressure.  The great thing about previous experience is that it doesn’t have to be your own.  You just have to have access to it.  Hence, there arises the need for a coach, mentor or key employees.

Even though non-conformity is a key element of entrepreneurship, it is important to know what has gone before so that you can either ignore it or build on it.

I have been a practitioner of Aikido for many years.  (If you want to find out more visit my dojo’s website http://www.griffithaikido.com.au).  There is a huge syllabus to learn and there are many mistakes to make along the way.  Time on the mat with a good instructor and fellow practitioners builds experience and proficiency.

The same applies when it comes time to make business decisions.  Time in the decision maker’s chair, time in the industry, and regular practice with other people (i.e. customers, staff, suppliers, collaborators, professional advisers) helps build a mental inventory of solutions that have worked well in similar circumstances.

In the end, most people succeed because they are determined to, but access to knowledge and experience will certainly help you reach your goals sooner.  It also conserves money by not wasting so much of it by stumbling in the dark.

I will discuss the need for 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

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

Business start up – mind first, business second

Yep, that's me! At a 70's party two weeks ago

I have been a business coaching, consulting, training and mentoring for 25 years now.  For 24 of those years I would never have believed that I would be conducting mind calming and centering exercises with clients in the local Botanical Gardens.

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received is the gift of Aikido.  Yes it’s a Japanese martial art and its great self defence but that’s not important.  The important part is the accompanying mind development.

I have practiced Aikido for quite a few years now and the penny has finally dropped.  My mind switch from ‘fearful, over-competitive and stressed’ to ‘non-fearful, calm and non-aggressive’ has been an amazing transformation for me.

Losing my fear has been nothing short of a revelation.  I don’t mean that now I have a brash disrespect for obvious danger.  What I mean is that it is great to lose that brain-chatter level of worry and self doubt.  Those two critters and the raft of negative thoughts they create really do sink a lot of otherwise successful ventures.

What makes an entrepreneur successful is his or her mindset – nothing else.  The opportunism, motivation, persistence, optimism, creativity, leadership, hard work and the other defining attributes all come from the mind.

The reason people fail in business is because they don’t have the right mindset.  It is as simple as that.

Now I’m not a psychologist but I have come to realise that it is mindset first, business second.  The symptoms I commonly see are fear and self doubt which can manifest them selves as lack of focus, procrastination and inertia.

In many cases, it results in over-compensation with aggressive and over-competitive behaviour.  Most of those rude, blustering, aggressive, always-right business types are train wrecks on the inside.

So anyway, back to the Botanical Gardens story.  One day I decided to conduct an experiment on a client.  I arranged to meet her at the gates of the local botanical gardens and I was prepared with a set of exercises based on the relaxation exercises and centering techniques used in Aikido.

My goal was to calm her mind and guide her to a state of feeling grounded and centered.  The Botanical Gardens was the only place of peace and beauty I could think of.

It worked and I wrote down the exercises for her so that she could do them at home.  I have never heard of a business coach doing such a thing.  I reckon I might be the only one but if it helps people to break the mind-shackles and achieve their dreams then I am happy to share.

Until next time!

Gary

If you would like to know more about how to start your own business contact me at gary@garyweigh.com and visit http://www.garyweigh.com/blog/business-startup

If you would like to read more about Aikido mind development visit my Aikido Secrets site at http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com