Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Business Start Up - Observing the Nitty Gritty

Business Start Up, Entrepreneurship, Business Development Programs, and other such combinations of words are touted about in the media a lot nowadays. Especially in times of economic hardship and uncertainty of the economy, stifling taxation policies and limited access to actual funds make the entrepreneurs become overwhelmed.

Finding sound, proper, practical technical assistance is becoming a myth. Not making negative references to those qualified theoretically, and having little experience to truly guide an emerging / expanding business. But T/A programs are often underfunded, seeking to pay such reduced rates to those providers that they would rather do without the payments from these programs; which are often excessively late. The reasons for the late payments is another story.

In short, entrepreneurs and businesses seeking funding to expand their operations are between a rock and a hard place. The expanding trend is to take classes and enter competitions in hopes of winning the prize money to springboard your business. It seldom materialises.

So let's get real. What's going to get you to the money. Here's what is NOT working:

  • A brilliant idea 
  • You management team comprising of your family members 
  • The fact that you're under funded with no access to collateral (There are no sympathies for the death of your business before it gets started.) 
  • Your presentation of the business plan and countless slides 
  • Your talking past the close when you don't realize what you're selling has already been sold. 
  • Not realizing that your novel idea / concept is not really that unique. (Someone else pitched it just two candidates ahead of you) 
  • Saying that you can sing better than Rihanna (Yes I've heard that countless time) Same as making better burgers than Chefette. (It's kind of in that category)
  • Not knowing how you actually will make the money and from what channels; not to mention how much and within what time frames. 
  • How will you present your service / product that people (your customers) would love and welcome. (I fired someone today that just didn't cut it.)
Here's what you need:
  1. A clearly thought out and documented concept that conveys exactly what you'll be doing in as few words as possible without diluting the meaning of what is intended. It should be backed up numerically and be able to withstand cross examination confidently. Your operation should be immaculate and functional. [How will you make money sustainably and by doing what?]
Some resources that you need:
  • Get professional help it's necessary
    • Accounting
    • Legal
    • Business Advisory Services - Operations
    • Access to highly liquid collateral - Funding 
Money's not everything, but it's right there with oxygen, if you don't have it you're going to miss it. (Zig Ziglar) 

If you don't have these things covered, don't get into business. Even when going to professional help, they won't take you seriously if they have to commit to your business more than you're willing to. 

Here's hoping that I'm not too controversial, but too many people are seeking to get into business totally unprepared. Have some great weeks ahead. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Music in Business

While I'm not an expert in music, I know great music when I hear it. Not knowing the names of all the artistes was never something that bothered me. Just recently I realized that I was feeling quite bogged down with all the work that I had to do. So I did something that I hadn't done in so long that it was becoming rare; I put one some music I had on my computer, leaned back and closed my eyes for a while.

It wasn't to sleep, but then I realized that the classical music I was listening to had an invigorating effect on me. Wanting to get my assignment done, I turned on the noise cancelling feature on my headset and listened a bit more. The effect was something worth noting, answers to challenges I had just poured forth. I reached for my notepad (the original) and my pencil to begin noting down the thoughts that were coming to mind. The solutions came almost effortlessly.

After some time of listening to the classics I then switched to the reggae / dancehall genre. Here's what I found, the confidence to implement the programs I thought up grew within me. With all scenarios carefully thought out the best paths of implementation came about. Hmmmm, two different genre and with very different results. I then experimented with other genre to see that impact they would have and though my study was not a formal one, I found that the results were all different and brought gratification in different ways.

One thing was certain, as we get older, we have gotten too lazy, forgetting the steps that we took when younger when we acted as we couldn't fail. As we aged, we became conformist to our detriment. This caged thinking may have held us up, stopping us from accelerating to the success levels we desired in our youth.

Takeaways include: listen to music of all kinds with appreciation, dance when you can (it's exercise and cheaper than the gyms), the classics auger well for creativity and focus, reggae for boosting confidence, soca / calypso for lightening the mood and relieving stress, and R&B coupled with other genres for relaxation and environmental changes even if its only on a mental level. Gospel helps reconnect with our creator and provides grounding.

Don't neglect the importance of music in your life. It can very well help you find the rhythm that you have naturally, and perhaps buried. Reconnect with your dreams, goals, and mission for your lives. You owe it to yourselves remembering; music in life and certainly music in business.

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