Common sense analysis of this, that and the other


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  1. Target a market that you understandknow your customers! (And play to your strengths, to quote Google.) If you are entering an industry because it is predicted to be the way to make money, you won’t be the one to make the money because you won’t know what you are doing – and people will find out soon enough. There are exceptions to this rule: Very very clever serial entrepreneurs can keep studying and re-invent themselves. I only know of about three world-wide, one of whom is Elon Musk, someone I admire.
  2. Surround yourself with people better than you by delegating, with thoughtful guidance.
  3. Don’t pay any attention to the appalling ‘reality’ TV shows such as The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den (Shown on the UK’s increasingly embarrassing TV). I won’t hire or do business with anyone who is influenced by such insipid programming. And this lady and this chap agree. Such shows are entertainment only and the people on the show are shallow, overdressed and shockingly rude. And what gives these people the right to talk down to the ‘contestents’? Real business people, musicians, artists, sports stars and the like are on the whole born, not made. They don’t need lecturing in such a manner. And very very few behave in the despicable manner encouraged in today’s callous voyeuristic Britain.
  4. Only work with people who ‘get it’. To get it means that they will be:
    • Understanding
    • Flexible
    • Pragmatic
    • Honest & trustworthy
    • Reliable
    • Most important, not greedy.Your team should meet all these criteria. If not, suggest they seek take a job at a respectable employer or join the military for a few years where such values will be instilled. People don’t change if provoked or pressured – but they can become enlightened and change from within.
  5. Whether a small mom and pop business, or a venture funded entity, always remember: Cashflow is king. Don’t get complacent! No cash, no flow. No money, no honey.
  6. If you really do have a great idea that no one else has realised yet, keep it to yourself until you have protected any intellectual property (IP) and/or bought it to market.
  7. Never trust anyone who says “Trust me.” Including yourself!
  8. No matter the structure of your business or who you are sharing the bridge with, ensure everything and all eventualities are covered by a legally binding agreement that has been validated if not created by a qualified decent lawyer. Decent as in, they won’t fleece you until you have made it and give you advice that is frank, not designed to make you feel good. Issues to consider:
    1. Profit sharing/share distribution (I’m a fan of employee owned businesses)
    2. Dividends (income from profits etc)
    3. Who owns any intellectual property? The inventor, the company, or both?
    4. What happens if an invention, service or product is acquired?
    5. What if the company is acquired?
    6. What are the designated roles of each member of staff? What are your responsibilities?
    7. Who do you turn to for conflict resolution? IE, if you have a dispute with a partner, who is knowledgeable and impartial enough to advise/act as arbitrator etc?
  9. Are you protected against lawsuits due to product failure? Consider public liability insurance.
  10. Ensure your team work in the same location as you or their supervisor, never remotely. Telecommuting does not work – and never will. There are exceptions, such as when a person is on leave or needs to be away yet tasks or issues require dealing with. There are psychological reasons for all this that go beyond the scope of this page, but that are covered in my employer’s company handbook. We have 5 senses for a reason!
  11. When attempting to value your business or venture, have someone else do it. There are two primary reasons for this:
    1. If you are humble, you may under value your asset (this is common with creative types)
    2. If you are a little more egotistical or arrogant, (happens!), then you may over value your brainchild.
  12. If things go wobbly, talk to someone you trust and whose bond is so strong no matter what, they will stand by you. Else?
  13. Follow appropriate suggestions in lifetips.

Written by Oflife

August 14, 2008 at 4:56 am

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