Categories
Attitude Basics Entrepeneurship

9 Things to Know About Starting a Business

Deep in your heart, you might be dreaming of starting your own business. It could be eCommerce, Handmade Crafts, a repair business, or a store on the corner. Doesn’t matter.

There some things you should know.

Books and YouTube Aren’t Enough

You can learn a lot by reading, researching, and buying courses on starting a business. But you won’t learn it all.

When your business hits reality, you’ll find you didn’t know about THAT!

No problem.

You are now learning from experience, and that’s a good thing. Experience makes knowledge stick.

You Are in It for the Long Term

There is no such thing as instant success. Sure, you can get really lucky and hit a home run early on, but that’s not a realistic expectation.

You will more likely spend hours and hours, and weeks, months and years building and running your business.

Expect obstacles, failures, and general missed goals, and you’ll be better prepared when they arrive.

I don’t mean to take on a negative attitude, rather just know that something will come up, and you’ll have to deal with it.

You Are Your Own Boss

That’s one of the great appeals of being in business for yourself. You get to decide how your business works.

You get to choose your own hours, and only have to work half-days. This means you get to choose which 12 hours you get to work.

You also get to make all the decisions. The results depend on you.

You Are Also the Empoyee

Unless you have employees (which I discourage early) YOU will be doing the work the Boss decides needing done.

You have to have great work ethic so what needs doing gets done — on time, and under budget.

Some have said they have lazy employees and a jerk for a boss.

That shouldn’t be you.

You Will Need Others to Succeed

A Sole Proprietor is a lonely business. As Boss/Employee, your only companionship might be talking to yourself.

You need to build relationships for social interaction, but also for business success.

I don’t mean “networking,” although some focused effort is OK.

I mean getting to know your various suppliers and service vendors. If you have physical products, you have to get them or their raw materials somewhere. Building a relationship with them will make getting “deals” more likely.

Business Money Isn’t Your Money

Sure, you put personal money at risk to get started, and in the early stages might need to invest more.

What I mean is that keeping Business money/credit/bills separate from your personal and family finances is crucial. Separate Checking and Credit accounts helps with this.

If your business starts generating a fair bit of cash, it will be very tempting to use some of that for your personal needs.

Don’t!

Your business needs to be financially secure in order to thrive and grow. PLAN how you will personally withdraw cash from your business. Don’t get enthralled with the shiny piles of cash.

You Will Need a Strong “Why”

You will face the inevitable obstacles, problems, and failures along the way. They can overwhelm you with despair unless you LOVE the reason you started the business in the first place.

And it can’t just be about the money.

I know that you might have started wanting a side income to help with bills.

But, unless you LOVE the work, it will become a J O B and you will get discouraged.

People Will Scoff

If you are starting your business to get love and respect from others, you will be sorely disappointed.

Your know-it-all brother-in-law will tell you a thousand ways you’re going to fail. Your parents might think you are being stupid. Your spouse might even actively object or refuse to support you.

Back to the Why and the Love.

The best revenge is to be successful.

You Will Likely Fail

The odds are against a new business. Failure within 5 years is more likely than success.

That doesn’t mean that you won’t be successful.

It just means that if you don’t remain focused, don’t maintain persistence, don’t consistently do what needs to be done, you are likely to get discouraged and stop, quit, or fail.

Final Thoughts

I have failed at business, and I have succeeded. The difference was paying attention to some of the small things that lead to success.

Plan your business. Plan your years. Plan your days.

Stay focused on the most important things without losing sight of potential problems.

Stay positive.

Categories
Amazon FBA Attitude eCommerce Planning

Making the Most of the Cold and Dark of Winter

Baby, It’s COLD Outside!

Here in NW Oregon, it rarely gets below freezing, and even more rarely, it snows. Generally, we can expect snow every few years. That’s one reason we get “snow days” with the falling of a single snowflake.

So, we bundle up and light a fire, brew the hot chocolate, and burrow in for the cold fronts.

It’s time to reflect and narrow down our actions for the coming year.

Our Amazon FBA business ended 2016 about 20% ahead of 2015. Pretty darn good. We hope for the same for 2017.

Unfortunately, our best selling category is dwindling in inventory and availability. We found them in closeout and discontinued stock from various brokers. We’ve sold tens of thousands of them for an average NET Profit of $5.

But, we’ve probably found them all, and they’re nearly gone.

We’re contemplating Private Label manufacturing. Sandi found her China importer, and we’ll consult with her to evaluate feasibility.

And, we’ll branch out to find new categories of products we can source and re-sell for a profit. This is the continuing task for an Amazon Seller, or for anyone working in retail ecommerce .

It’s good to have our bundled warmth to give us comfort. The future is unknown. But we can predict with enough data.

Plan our Work. Work our Plan.

John L

Categories
Attitude Basics Finances Motivation Planning

Why Am I Always Behind Come Tax Time?

Here it is, the end of another fantastic year, and I’m just now getting started on my bookkeeping. Again?

I know I’ve said that success requires you know how your business is doing by keeping your bookkeeping up-to-date. I guess I should be following my own advice.

Excuses Why I haven’t Kept Up

Categories
Amazon FBA Attitude Entrepeneurship expense control Management

Clearing Out the Dead Wood

We don’t get much snow around here in Winter. A typical Winter for us has endless storms swooshing in from the Pacific and dumping rain, and rain, and more rain.

However, when the storms drop down from Canada, we get some snow, and brisk East Winds.

Categories
Attitude

Are You a Professional?

We all know that when someone gets paid to play a sport, they are
a “Professional Athlete”.

Yet, we many times see these “profesionals” skip out on their practice time, or give less than their all or best.

These aren’t the professionals.

The professionals aren’t the ones who aspire to be the Star.

The professionals are the ones who come to work to WORK.

They do whatever it takes to accomplish the task. And they do it day in and day out, every day.

They Don’t Quit or Give Up.

If we want to get paid for our chosen work, then we need to put on
our Professional Pants and go to work.

Don’t have enough work?

Put on your Professional Marketing or Salesman hat and drum up business – more business than you can handle all at once. Then you’ll have a scheduling problem to solve.

Having a Production problem?

Get to busy figuring out where the bottlenecks are and how you’re going to fix them. Widening those bottlenecks get stuff moving, and costs go down for more profits.

The problem we self-employed have is that we don’t recognize the
importance of being a Professional in all we do for our business.

I’m guilty of letting my Inertia guide me, not my business needs.

So, I have to overcome this inertia all day long so I can do the
important work of my business. It is easy to get distracted, and
professionals don’t get distracted, so I strive to do better.

I have to SEE my Target so well I can feel it and taste it.

I have to FOCUS on my Target to the exclusion of all else.

I have to AIM and SHOOT at my Target to Hit It.

I have to HIT It until I Hit it.

Start, Continue, Finish.

For a Good Read on Being a Professional, get Steven Pressfield’s
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
.
It has helped me, that’s for sure.

John L