Sunday, April 17, 2016

Business Start-ups

Avoid those killer start-up errors

Are you planning to start a new business?  There are many hazards that might be faced and avoiding these can help improve the chances of success.

Here a few hazards new entrepreneurs should try to avoid.

1. Under financing: lack of sufficient funding is probably the most common reason new businesses fail. Many entrepreneurs fail to assess the burn rate of the capital they have. One costly step is hiring too many people. Try paying people with equity rather than salary, you will end up with a much more committed team and preserve cash. Don’t overspend on equipment and technology you really don’t need to get going.
Also, many start-ups fail to realize that few customers pay promptly; this can severely impact cash flow.

2. Starting without a plan: enthusiasm over a good idea is over-rated. An idea is only an idea and without a well-developed business plan chances of success are minimal. It is also very difficult if not impossible to raise financing without a plan.

3. Fear of Failing
It is natural to have some fear that the business will not succeed and certainly problems will arise and challenge your business acumen. However, if the concept is strong and validated you should not let fear of failing stop you from trying to live your dream.

4. Inflexibility: with start-ups you have to be prepared to change on the go. Rarely does the plan get executed without a hitch. Marketplace dynamics, competitive behaviour and economic conditions can dramatically impact the plan. Ability to react and change plans may be a key to survival.

These are some hazards you may face in starting a business. There are others but avoiding these may help improve your chances of a successful start in business. I hope this helps you get underway. Let me know.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Business Management

Leadership Principles Worth Following

There are universal principles at work behind every choice, every interaction, every word that is said and every action that is taken. Understanding these underlying principles will help you grow and prosper as a leader and as a person. Here are a few to consider:

1. Fairness
Fairness is a principle that’s understood by children everywhere, but as we grow up, we each may develop our own individual concept of what is and isn’t fair. On your team, there needs to be a common understanding of fairness, and it needs to be defined, communicated and demonstrated by you as the leader every day.
When you make decisions, be open and honest about how they were made and why. People may be resentful or mistrusting of decisions that have been handed down arbitrarily or without input and explanation.

2. Honesty, Integrity and Trust
The people on your team want and need to trust you. They want to know that you’ve given them all of the facts and that nothing is being hidden. The way to gain that trust is by being honest and living with integrity.
When you do make a mistake or a bad decision, disclose it. Don’t blame someone else, lie or pretend it didn’t happen. Be honest about it and move forward.

3. Potential
Everyone is capable of being and doing more than they are now. Everyone on your team – whether they’re a rookie or a subject matter expert – needs to feel that you see his or her potential to grow, acquire new skills and develop.
People look to a leader to evoke that from them, inspiring and allowing them to grow, evolve and fulfill their potential. Don’t restrict their growth by assuming they’ll adhere to your predictions of how they’ll act, think or talk.

4. Respect and Dignity
Respect is difficult to earn and easy to lose. Adopt the “golden rule” – treat people how you want to be treated. Treat each team member with respect and dignity for who they are and for the work that they’re doing. Recognize and embrace their differences and diversity.
Earn respect by acting with dignity and showing that you have respect for yourself. Be a role model and hold yourself to a higher standard on a daily basis.
Reward people in public and correct them in private. This will protect their dignity and reinforce that they can take risks. They’ll know that if they do make a mistake or fail they won’t be publicly disgraced for it.

These ideas can help develop your leadership skills. Please consider them as you develop your business.
I would enjoy your comments.