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Small Business Secret #1 – Build Your Business with The End In Mind

Small Business is the toughest industry to break into. If you were a betting man, you would never in a million years want to go into a small business when the odds for success in small business are so bad, that 70% of all small business fail in the first year. Let me be blunt, if you want to succeed in small business, only listen to those people who have built a small business in an industry they no nothing about and succeeded. These are the people who seriously know how to build a small business.

I just happen to be one of those people – I am not a business coach – I offer no consulting on small business, just let me share with you my secret to building 4 small businesses from a three thousand dollar credit card.

The first secret when building a small business is this, have the end in mind. When I first started in small business, I was like most business people, I was a technician (bit more than that, but this is how the E-myth would describe me) in the IT industry with the belief I could build a better computer training company than those around me. One thing I can tell you about this industry, stay out of it. It is tough and there is no money in it, well that’s not quite true, but there are far easier businesses to make serious money. In fact I married my wife and I decided I wanted to experiment on whether all business was as hard as the training industry or was it just computer training.

My wife and I, after much coaxing agreed to setup a car cleaning and detailing business, we new nothing about the business and were simply doing it as an experiment. Two years on, we have a successful thriving business and we are about to Franchise and expand the business to over 10 cities in Australia.

The key to building a successful small business is to have the end in mind and to know when you are going to exit the business. Most people when they start a small business simply believe they are going to have a business to make money, come home and do it better than their boss. If you are going to go into business for this reason, quit now, because your life is doomed.

There is more to business than simply doing the technical work and this is what most new small business operators do not realize. When you are first thinking about starting a small business, imagine how it will look when you are finished. For example, what image will you have, what logo’s will you have, what marketing material will you be using, where will you be operating from, how many stores will you have, how many people will be working for you, what sort of profit will you be making and more so, how will you know that the business is complete.

For example, let us say you wanted to start up a dog washing business. You saw in a market that there was a massive need for dog washing. How are you going to satisfy the market? How are you going to build your business? How are you going to clean the dogs? Are you going to build the business like other? When will you know that the business is finished?

These are all the questions you must ask yourself. In fact, if you don’t ask yourself then you will find that your business may grow but without any focus. It will go so far and then become a huge noose around your neck. By knowing what the end will be, you then have a clear goal of what you want to achieve and you can then build the business based on that vision.

Let me give you a really good example of this methodology. If you get a chance watch the movie, Concierge with Micheal J Fox. Micheal plays a concierge that has a vision of building a hotel. He first builds a model of the hotel and then sells the idea to a developer. As he says in the movie he knows every aspect of the hotel he has built.

You as a small business owner must do exactly the same thing. Before you rush out and start your small business, you must know exactly what you are building know every aspect of it and how to build it. You must know every job, every role, every procedure and how it will work within your business.

By creating your business in this way, you will learn very quickly what will work and what will not.

Most people who want to start a small business will say that they don’t have enough money. If you have a clearly articulated vision and you can prove that your vision works, then there will always be someone out there prepared to back you. It may take a while to find someone to support you, but there are people out there who will. Just remember it took Walt Disney, 500 plus knock backs for Disneyland before he found that one group of people that would back him.

If you truly want your vision to work, then you must be prepared to be relentless in your pursuit of success. Remember the first secret in small business success, is to build and develop your business with the end in mind.

Five Things You Need To Remember Before Starting a Small Business

Everyone knows someone who has decided to go into small business but did you know that 70% of all small businesses fail within the first 12 months of operation. In some countries that failure rate is as high as 85 to 90%. Small Business is one of the toughest industries you can ever decide to take on and most people who go into small business go into it for the wrong reason.

I have started 4 small businesses over the last 10 years and every single one of them has been started from scratch and survived into a thriving business. Just recently I have decided to sell one of the businesses off cause it had done what I expected it to do which is the first issue you need to think about.

Issue 1. Have a Clear Understanding of What You Want To Achieve In Your Business

The majority of people, who actually go into business, go into it for the wrong reasons. Even I have been guilty of that. So what is this wrong reason, most people start a small business because they believe they can do a better job then their current boss. Maybe this is true, maybe it is not but what most people really want is better working conditions and better pay. No one can blame you for wanting that. If that is all you want, then I strongly suggest you stay away from small business.

One of the key issues you must remember before evening thinking about starting a small business is this. Do you know what your business will look like? If you were walking down the street, how would you want to be found? What impression do you want to give to your clients? What clearly do you what to achieve in this business?

The second clear understanding you must have of your business is, when will you know when it is finished? When you have built what you want to achieve and more importantly, how will you get out?

See most people when they go into business have no exit strategy and that is one of the worst things you can do. Before you ever start a business, the first thing you must work out is how you are going to get out of the business.

Two years ago, I started a small car cleaning business. My wife and I both started it because she wanted to see if she could build a business. Our exit strategy was to sell the business once it was done. How we would sell it was something we were not sure of?

See we could have taken a number of approaches to this. Our exit strategy could have been to franchise the business, sell it to a single owner or to float it on the stock market. We chose that we only wanted to sell it to another owner, but we still built the business in such a way that there was still plenty of growth and opportunity in the business for the new owner, but we had removed the risk for them on how to run the business by clearly documenting everything they needed to do to run that business.

Before ever starting a business, always think about how you will exit the business, when you have achieved your objective for that business. If you do not have an exit strategy in mind, then you will never get out of the business.

Issue 2. Keep a Strict Schedule

Small business is consuming. Unlike in large corporations where you can hire many people to do a range of tasks, small business requires the small business owner to do many of the tasks themselves. Some of the tasks include doing your books, lodging trademarks, doing the ordering etc. Often when you start in small business, you can not afford to hire people to do these tasks.

What I have personally found is that if you do not keep a tight schedule and document your meetings and tasks you have to do then it will not take very long before you will be swamped by all the things you have to do in the business every day. It is this phenomenon that often leads small business owners to quit and fail in the first twelve months. Let me tell you this, the warning signs that this is starting is when you say to your wife on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon that you are going down to the office to catch up on paperwork for a few hours. Once you get into this habit, you will never stop doing it and the business will consume you really quickly.

I strongly recommend all small business owners keep a diary. My preference is to use Microsoft Outlook, simply because it includes a calendar and you can make sure that each day you schedule your work plus your appointments to make sure you do not forget anything. If you do this, then you will find over time you can get through this plus you will learn how long it should take to do the various jobs that make up your business and whether it is worthwhile in getting someone to actually do those tasks for you.

Issue 3. Build Your Own Mastermind Group

I read a book a little while ago called Think and Grow Rich and is written by a gentleman called Napoleon Hill and he talks about the thirteen secrets to success and obscene wealth. One of the things that I learned both from this book and being a small business owner was that I needed a Mastermind Group.

The Mastermind Group is simply a group of professionals who can help me achieve my objectives for my business. Literally anyone can be part of your mastermind group and some of those would be people like a lawyer, an accountant and other people like your peers who can help you in building your business but it may also include people who are not in business as well to help you keep that balance. The Mastermind Group are really those people you turn to for advice and direction. You do not necessarily have to take their advice but a good mastermind group will allow you run through scenarios on what is happening and the potential outcomes.

Issue 4. Have one night when you do something on your own for you!

One of the big issues that I have had over the last ten years is that I have not been doing every single week is something on my own but I say that I am in the process of changing that. Often when you start in business, with the excitement of building your own business you get so consumed that you forget about a life outside of your business and your business becomes your life.

This is really not a good thing nor is it healthy. Even multi-billionaires do things for themselves outside of business. Look do not get me wrong, business is fantastic and fun and can be both enjoyable and a nightmare however there are other things out there outside of business.

When you start a small business, do not neglect your sports, do not neglect doing something social, if you do, in the long run you will find that you business suffers. Plus, in small business it is very easy to become bitter and twisted but by maintaining those none business activities it will help you to balance your life.

Issue 5. Don’t neglect Your Partner or your Family

I would love to see the divorce statistics for small business owner’s because I am quite sure that the divorce rate in small business would have to be about 70 or 80%. The majority of married couples (and I am talking about 90% of the small business people I Know) that I know who have gone into small business in their 30′s have actually been divorced within 18 months of them starting the business.

Look there are lots of reasons why this happens, but in a lot of the cases, the partner who has gone into business neglects their family and money gets tight. In the partners case it is not their fault it is simply because the person gets consumed into the business and they forget they have a life outside of the business.

If you have a family, make sure that you do at least one activity a week as a family. Whether it is having a family night at home such as a video night or games night, or even just going to the park to play once a week, make sure that you do it. PLUS, you must ensure that at least one night a week must be for just you and your partner. If you do not do that your marriage or relationship will suffer.

One thing I share with all the people who come through our training business is that if you want to go into business that is cool but you must be prepared to accept two things -

1. You must be prepared to start from scratch if your business does not work
that is you must be prepared to start with just the shirt on your back.

2. You must have 100% support of your partner and family

If you cannot accept these two things, then do not go into business because too many people who I see that start on this journey fail and end up miserable and have such a downward spiral which leads them to doing something silly, like take up drinking, drugs or try to commit suicide. Remember, 70% of all small businesses fail within the first 12 months. If you were a betting man would you back something that only had a 30% chance of winning, not likely, yet people still go into small business.

The bottom line is this, small business can be the most awesome ride of your life, but it can be also the most difficult and when you choose to go into small business, take your time and plan what you want to achieve. Remember the old saying if your Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail.

Small Business Bookkeeping Is A Good Way To Maintain Records

Running a business is not a child’s play. Moreover, managing small business bookkeeping is again a Herculean task. We all are very well aware of the fact that managing and maintaining financial records consume lots of time and personnel resources. Hence, there is one solution that can solve a problem of bookkeeping for small businesses. What is bookkeeping and how does it help in saving time and money? The answer to your query is that bookkeeping is a process that involves maintaining of records of the various transactions that have taken place throughout the year.

The functions of small business bookkeeping includes looking through the total revenue, profit, loss and expenses, dates of the transactions and various other minute financial details incurred by the company. This brings us to the conclusion that bookkeeping is one of the most vital aspects of a business irrespective of it size. In fact, small business bookkeeping needs to be maintained more accurately because once they know their financial status very well they can think of expanding themselves. Small business bookkeeping provides many advantages of maintaining financial records. It helps the owner or a manager to know the accurate financial status of the company business, small business book keeping also helps these small businesses to know their accurate financial position that further assists them to understand the profit and loss that the business is coming up with. It additionally helps these businesses to be financially and legally precise.

Small business bookkeeping consists of the details, such as the daily transactions, turnover, loss, if any and other such details as these details can help small businesses to get loans. Maintaining small business bookkeeping is also a huge task like maintaining a bookkeeping for any big business. Therefore, it is always very important to get professionals who are thorough with their work even if the work is being done for small business book keeping. So, hurry and call a small business bookkeeping executive to get your task done in no time. Hiring professionals to do bookkeeping helps the businesses to understand their financial position as it further helps it to grow and also keeps a good track of the bookkeeping of the business.

Small business bookkeeping should be done on a regular basis as it helps to maintain the financial records regularly. The executive provided by the small business bookkeeping will maintain the daily transactions as it helps to keep a track of the smallest of the financial expenses or gains. If there is a hindrance in the regularity then it might become a major issue resulting in losing the track of the small business bookkeeping causing loss to the company. It can be done either manually or with the help of computers. The basic purpose of the accountant or bookkeeping service is to maintain an accurate record for the company. This is usually done by maintaining a monthly spreadsheet of the expenses incurred daily and another to show the sales, purchase, gross, and net profit. Small business bookkeeping is of great help to a business and this has been proved repeatedly and it is isndeed, the best way to keep out of unwanted troubles.