Aug 09 2009

Thinking about starting a business?

Reality Check!

                                                           

      Just in case  you’re star-struck with the idea of starting your own business venture, be aware that there’s a little more to it than flipping the black and red “Yes, We’re Open” and “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign twice a day.

There’s . . . 

  • money (at least twenty times more than you can even imagine needing!) 
  • industry experience, training and know-how
  • knowledge of the market and the competition
  • customers (you’re going to need a few to start)
  • suppliers (you’re going to need a few to start)
  • location (which is often critical, depending on the nature of the business)
  • utilities
  • a formal written business plan
  • investor and/or loan payback arrangements
  • basic office and business supplies
  • inventory of products and/or services
  • credibility (industry/community associations?)
  • advertising/marketing preparation
  • advertising/marketing implementation
  • an accountant
  • a lawyer
  • an advisory board
  • employees
  • a bank and bank account
  • maybe a post office box
  • maybe charge card or PayPal arrangements
  • maybe a charge card
  • furniture and equipment

…this could go on for pages!

     And don’t tie-up  your brain with this next thought, but you surely need to be conscious of the fact that 9 out of 11 new businesses fail in the first 3 years, and that it takes 5 years on average just to break even financially.

     Be aware that  most businesses fail because of poor management. Period. It’s common to hear that a new business didn’t make it because it was under-capitalized, but if you think about that for 2.5 seconds and can be honest about it, under-capitalization is:  poor management!

     You can be  a free-wheeling entrepreneurial spirit all you want, but reality dictates that you have to do some planning and have a ton more money than you think you need just to get up and running. This is a “haste-makes-waste” point in time where shortcuts don’t work.

     Of course there are always  Steve Jobs and Bill Gates success stories about starting in a garage and working “on a shoestring,” and I wish for you to be that kind of successful, but reality is that these two superstars are each one in trillions.   

     If all the above  thoughts have fueled your fire instead of discouraged you into retreating to the life of a bottom of the barrel employee, you might actually have what it takes to make it work. Go for it! (Oh, and if you need to call me for help, do it please before running out of money! Thank you.)

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Input aways welcome: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in    subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  

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Mar 16 2009

With promising business enterprises dropping like flies, it’s time to…

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.

                                           

OH?

…time to examine both the cause of business failures and the solution.

The cause is something like a one-two punch:

1) For the past 18 months, mainstream media have been delivering a staggering succession of doom and gloom jabs to keep professional practices and businesses off balance by focusing one of every three headlines on how bad things are, and then beating the economic woes into the ground. 

[And guess what, mainstream media? — Professional practice and business owners and  operators and managers, are sick of your negativity! We have stopped buying your poor excuses for print and broadcast news, and many of us have withdrawn our advertising dollars. And so now you are starting to suffer. Time magazine’s list of top ten newspapers that are about to go under is startling to say the least, but, unfortunately, well deserved.]

2) The federal government‘s pitifully naive and sorely misdirected “bailouts” and “stimulous package” reactions (note “reactions” not “responses”) that actually fail to bail out or stimulate anything of any consequence in the direction of economic revitalization, have done their damnedest to deliver the knockout punch!

     Only trouble is that the entrepreneurial spirit lives on, and will never be destroyed wherever free-thinking people exist. Small business people know that it’s small business people who produce the vast majority of jobs in America. And small business people know that the ONLY way the economy gets stimulated is with incentives for small business to create jobs. And small business people know that there’s not a single penny allocated for this purpose in government’s (almost laughable were it not for the fact it’s our taxes being fed to those who choose not to work!) stimulus guise.

So here’s the 2-way solution:

1) Mainstream media pulls itself up and starts pounding our ears and eyes with positive, inspirational, motivational messages, and

2) The federal government hires a team of independent small business management consultants and proven entrepreneurs to show the corporate giants how it’s done (economic survival) with no cash and no bailouts and no stimulus, and how to take that survive mode into a thrive mode with 6-7 days-a-week of hard “lean and mean” work, networking, some reasonable risk-taking, some tough ROI due-dated venture capital, and the rallying support of familiy and friends.

Yeah, right. And how sick is it that reality renders this solution not even worthy of dreaming about? Oh, right, I almost forgot, times have changed.

Besides, who needs dreams now that we’re up to our ears in “hope”?       

God Bless You and Good Night!  halalpiar     

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Mar 13 2009

Ronald Reagan on WORKPLACE LEADERSHIP

Patriotism Before Personal Ambition!

Coo-kook-a-choo,

                           

Mrs. Robinson,

                                                                                  

where has

                        

Ronald Reagan gone . . .?

 

     Regardless of your politics, there’s no escaping true wisdom. Here are two quotes from one of America’s most inspirational leaders, words worthy of at least one minute of your think-time over this coming weekend: 

                                                                     

“Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes just don’t know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond… There are entrepreneurs…who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity… Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life.”  1981

                                                                                 

“The most fertile and rapidly growing sector of any economy is that part that exists right now only as a dream in someone’s head or an inspiration in his heart.”  1987

                                                                         

     If you are an entrepreneur, if you own or run a business, if you are invested in a business startup, if you are part of a family business . . . and you have not been speaking up about the national economic stimulus package that is about to put a chokehold on entrepreneurial pursuits, speak now!

     The “stimulus” plan, on top of the “bailouts” has yet to show one single penny directed to small business incentives to create jobs, not one cent! It sees your half-full glass as three-quarters empty!  

     The bottom line: NOW is the time to pick up your phone and call your senate and congressional representatives to tell them that the only way this nation’s economy can turn positive is with job creation programs and that virtually all job creation comes from small business. Send letters and emails.

     If you believe as most entrepreneurs do that you are on Earth to make a difference, to make your mark, then this is the best step forward in that direction you can possibly take right now.

     In the spirit of Ronald Reagan’s perceptions and comments, make your entrepreneurial patriotism and your business count for something important. Act now and recruit others to act with you to influence the only kind of economic change that’s truly meaningful. Insist on substantial stimulus funding for small business job creation incentives!

God Bless You and Good Night!  halalpiar     

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Dec 17 2008

ENTREPRENEURS The Only Hope For Rapid Economic Recovery

No, they’re not just born. 

                                                                             

     Yes, they’re also made. Yes, just a handful of them are a million times more likely to save our collective financial butts than all the Nation’s politicians put together. 

     Why?  Because only entrepreneurs understand how to make things happen and then make them happen. 

     Throughout history, it’s been entrepreneurs that have risen to the task of overcoming crushing defeat and corporate lethargy.

Entrepreneurs are catalysts.

They believe (and practice) that some action is better than no action, that if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway!”

Entrepreneurs are willing to take REASONABLE risks, and then take them.

They believe that “he who hesitates is lost” but they also consider worst case scenarios before charging forward.

                                                                     

     In other words, entrepreneurs are the business movers and shakers of our society. Entrepreneurs are the ones –not the velvet-tongue, loud-mouth, know-nothing, do-nothing politicians and mainstream media opinionists– who will get this lumbering, bumbling, storm-struck ship, this USS Economy, righted again and moving in a productive direction.

     It will happen, this straightening of the crooked path, but it will only happen because the gates of humanity are thrown open to the innovative pursuits of the entrepreneurial spirit that throbs deep within our existence as the guiding light and stronghold of leadership in the free world.

     Sure, we can choose to moan and groan and mope and drag our sorry selves from coast to coast, and wallow in our misery –as certainly many terrorist nations would relish. 

     Or, you know what? We can just as easily choose to make an active and conscious choice to pull ourselves up by the proverbial bootstraps and help pave the way for the waves of entrepreneurial development that are destined to raise us to new heights. 

     How will this happen?

We who are blessed to be part of the American spirit will help it to happen by what we do with every day and the gift of life each of us carries from dawn to dusk and beyond.

What we DO with that, how we use it to grant others freedom from oppression and depression, each in our own unique ways, with our own unique pats on the back… is how it will happen! 

                                                                                 

     We shall rise up as a band of supporters, igniters, lending and offering the incentives to make forward motion possible. The shoulders, our shoulders, that we put to the wheel, and march along side other shoulders moving in the same directions of enlightenment will make the difference.

     The investments we make of ourselves in ourselves, and in clearing the way for those who have the gift of making lemonade from lemons, will make the difference.

     Think about someone you know, or perhaps yourself, who glows with that “git ‘er done” energy and drive . . . reach out with belief and encouragement. Yes, it will work as surely as even the tides rise and fall, and the moon fills with light.      

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 Thanks for your visit and may God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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