Top 10 priorities when starting a business

When you are managing start up business there are 10 key things that I suggest you think about before you take the leap.

  1. Understand your reasons for wanting to go into business
  2. Be truthful with yourself and know your limitations
  3. Don’t leap until you have scouted out a safe landing
  4. Business is a response to customer demand so make sure it exists
  5. Realise that you are entering a life of service to customers.
  6. Be certain you are comfortable with constant change
  7. Money is useful but experience, competence and teamwork are critical
  8. Your job is to perform the high payoff activities not put out fires.
  9. Focus on income and traction, not on expenses
  10. Beware of obsolescence.  Adopt technology and adapt to demand

Will you receive fair value for your business?

Business planning Australia

The reality is that your business, like every other business, has its ‘ups’ and ‘downs’.  Good people come and go, owners become jaded, stressed, and sick.  Accidents happen and with increasing age, an owner chances of dying prematurely or suffering a critical and debilitating health event, significantly increase.

Larger businesses can cope in the owner’s absence because there are enough people and systems to carry on.  However, this is not the case in smaller businesses.  If the owner is absent, the business usually suffers.

Why?  Because, when misfortune strikes and there is no ‘plan B’, it doesn’t take long for the sudden silence and inactivity to cause customers to go elsewhere.  Revenue falls, and market value falls with it.

Planning a prosperous exit, under any conditions, expected or unexpected, is critical because it represents the culmination of your lifetime of work.  It is your one and only opportunity to cash-out an asset which may even exceed the value of your home.

Furthermore, the after-tax and after-debt proceeds from a sale may have to last you and your family for the rest of your lives.  So it is no small undertaking and certainly not the time to be forced into discounting years of sweat equity.

The power of introverts

Business building

Thank you so much Susan Cain for having the courage to so ably represent us.  Introverts have such great business ideas but also have great difficulty promoting them.  We create businesses that stay too long in the shadows, relatively unknown.  We love the technical stuff but dislike the promotional stuff.  Networking and public speaking are the hardest things we ever have to do.  The internet marketing and social media outlets have provide introverts with an alternate range attractive promotional options.  We like the elements of anonymity and solitude inherent in sitting at a computer.  But it is still difficult for us to be the centre of attention, albeit in cyberspace.  We still feel as though we are lost in the noise of spammers and extroverts.  At some time or other, we think we need extroverted sales people to do that bit for us, so we can get on with the more grippingly enjoyable tasks of generating internal brilliance.

But there is another way.  That is to join forces and hunt as a pack.  Ok it is going to be a very silent pack but a powerful network of like minds nevertheless.  Take a look at this TED video at  Can we silently and cautiously network with each other, and share ideas and opportunities?  I think we can and together I think we can make a difference.  I hope you enjoy listening to Susan Cain.  She’s my hero.

Business planning – the business mind

In business planning, much has been written and said about entrepreneurial thinking and the traits that entrepreneurs have in common.  But not much is said about actually developing the mind set that supports entrepreneurial thinking.

Let’s widen the definition of entrepreneur beyond the person with the big business idea who has the charisma and tenacity to win support for its successful implementation.

Now let’s call them the ‘everyday entrepreneur’ and include anyone who has a dream; has the guts to take a risk and have a go; and who gets a result, either good or bad.  So in my view, that can be:

  • Every business owner
  • Any action-driven risk taker in any context – e.g. business, sport, science
  • Anyone who attempts to network for gain; and
  • Anyone who addresses groups or speaks publicly

That’s a lot of people.  Well that’s my point!

Most heroes go unnoticed in this world, as do most entrepreneurs.  Your name doesn’t have to be Richard Branson, Dick Smith or Donald Trump to take a risk and have a go.

Many people try and many people stumble because they run into problems that they feel ill-equipped to solve.  That’s why it’s a common to hear of entrepreneurs having many failures before finally achieving success.

It is my experience over the past 30 years that all people have dreams; the majority have the entrepreneurial streak (in the wider definition), but most lack the mind skills to see it through to successful implementation.

More on business planning – the business mind in my next blog.

Check out my other blog at http://www.aikido-secrets–

Until next time!