Month: May 2012

The top 10 thing that can and will kill your business stone dead 

 I normally hate bullet pointed lists but going through the basics sometimes needs a bit of structure so here you are.

1. Failing to sell stuff – It’s kind of important that someone other than you wants your stuff and is willing to part with the hard earned to get it.

2. Not keeping your eye on the cash – You must have heard that cash is king and unfortunately it’s true without cash you lose your home, your kids don’t wear the best clobber and you all eventually starve. It’s no fun living eating cardboard and beans.

3. Not chasing for payment – They owe you so go out and get it.

4. Under-pricing – Most small businesses and larger ones too don’t value what it is they do high enough. Remember it’s not what you do it’s what happens when you’ve done it that matters.

5. Failure to do a reality check on your basic business idea – Mad ideas are usually just that Mad.

6. Forgetting about the competition – Tricksy they are indeed – selling similar stuff to you and to your clients right under your nose keep an eye on them or maybe both eyes

7. Not getting the right advice when you need it – That’s where I come in call me and find out to keep going

8. Ignoring legalities Only take risks in the area you are most confident in – which for most people isn’t the law. The devil is in the detail check small print in contracts before you sign. Don’t commit to anything that you don’t think you can deliver on. Find a good lawyer and build a relationship with them legal wrangles can waste a lot of your time or even close you down if you get it wrong.

9. Taking too much money out too soon It’s tempting, I know, but just because you put money in quickly – doesn’t mean you can take money out quickly. Whatever you think it costs add ten percent for contingency then another ten percent for SNAFU.

10. Getting trapped in long-term arrangements Flexibility is key and you need that flexibility at the start. Keep things as simple as possible and think about what you can do if things don’t go your way. The biggest strength of small businesses is that they can quickly change to take advantage of the opportunities they discover. Don’t throw this advantage away.

Passive income?

I’ve been reading a lot about so called “passive income” recently how everyone needs to earn while they sleep or they are done for.
The internet never sleeps retort is very accurate but I’ve found most of cyberspace is a wasteland. The wind whistles through it like a Californian Gold Rush Ghost Town. Trying to find the nuggets is getting harder and harder. There are many websites, blogs and network groups that are screaming that they have the rights to the next great “passive income claim” so if I don’t act now I’ll lose my chance. My twitter feed grows daily because I may have shown a vague interest in someones witty or pithy aside and now I am bombarded with gormless idiotic chatter.
What is the correct etiquette here? If I “unlove” someone do they appear at my bedside at night brandishing venom and hate or “troll” me out of my mind. In the old days it was a simple case of checking under the duvet and having a strategy for disposing of a horses head before jumping in for a decent nights rest.
How does the cyber world, not known for its mature and stable relationship building skills, deal with faceless rejection?
Now back to passive income I hate to mention it but there is no such thing if, like me you believe that every one buys from someone they like, know or trust, which would indicate that there is an emotional aspect to this, then where does the word “passive” fit in?
To create this passive income you need to create a stable of constantly evolving products or services which continue to add value to an ever changing and increasingly demanding marketplace. Doesn’t sound very passive to me. I think what they mean is an income which requires no input from me on building a relationship between buyer and seller above a daily email that says “you bought X from us six months ago so we thought you might like to purchase Z” now that’s handy as I didn’t know that Z actually existed now I know I need to have one. Phew what a service – now I’m off to check if I’ve been invaded by trolls under the bridge.

Growing Pains

When you are seeking to grow your business asking for help can be a daunting task, but how much anyone needs to know about the business in order to accelerate growth is debateable. Some businesses are very specialised and others more general, so how much can somebody from outside the business really know?
Anyone who has set up a business should be, or should aspire to be, the expert in that core business and there is little anybody can or should add to this. Specialists in this field may well ask advice from that business owner or know of other clients who could use their expertise. But just because the business owner is good at what they do why should they also be good at running a business? Very few are and most business owners are keen to focus on what makes them contented and feel comfortable.
Examples of the business creator being ousted by their board are numerous as are smaller business owners selling out when they didn’t expect “all those problems with the business stuff”. I have to tell you that the business stuff is my specialisation so when you are losing sleep or not sure what to do next then call in an expert – it’s what you would recommend to your clients!