Starting a business? Read this article.
It’s kind of scary for most people, huh? Well, I was young and dumb when I first started in business so in this article, you’re going to learn from my mistakes, learn about my wins and what I wished someone had taught me right from the very beginning.
I’m going to start with my mistakes.
I’m a Kiwi; so naturally, I’m going to refer to rugby for a moment.
Starting my business (Printable), was like picking up a rugby ball and running. Sure, I put a few points on the board but I had no idea about the rules.
The rules in business = The tax system.
Being young, dumb, and probably a little arrogant, I found “the numbers” kind of boring and I was under the impression that my accountant would help me and guide me. I neglected “the numbers” and assumed my accountant was keeping a close eye on things. Nope, I was wrong.
I had a friend once say to me,
“Ash. have you ever noticed that accountants aren’t actually that clever? They’re great at looking at what’s happened in the past, but they’re not the kind of people that can anticipate the future. They’re not like me and you Ash.”
That one got me thinking. He said that no-one would ever care about my money as much as I do.
I didn’t listen. I almost went broke. In fact, I had to grind my way out of a financial hole for years.
So, if you want to do well in business, you MUST understand the tax system.
What I mean by that is, that you should learn how to spend your money. It’s like walking around with a 40% discount if you know what you’re doing.
If you haven’t watched my YouTube video, then here’s the link. Watch it now and then come back to this article. It’s not long, a lot of people have left comments on how it has helped them, check it out.
The next thing I suggest is for you to find the most successful person you know and buying him or her breakfast.
Call them and say, “You’re someone and I look up to you. May I buy you breakfast and learn from you? I’m starting a business.”
While reading this, did someone, in particular, come to mind?
Call them tomorrow. Don’t hesitate. This brings me to my next subject.
Those who hesitate, miss opportunities. They piss people off around them and well, they’re generally not the people that succeed in business. Starting a business requires someone decisive.
The most successful people I know, move at pace.
I’ve observed many, many people that need the perfect conditions to move forward – to take a punt on an idea that they have- and guess what? Hesitation kills, nothing ever happens. It just fizzles out because perfect conditions don’t exist.
I’ve also seen people hesitate on making hard decisions and they end up growing the problem. Think about a friend who did something that upset you – you bottle it up, say nothing and then the friend keeps doing it as if they now have permission because you didn’t say anything in the first place.
The problem grows, you finally explode and…
Walk right up to hard decisions and do what needs to be done. The speed of implementation is the key! Some people might argue that moving at pace could lead to mistakes, however you don’t always have to be 100% accurate. In fact, in life, being 98% accurate is OK.
98% accuracy wins
The same friend (by the way, I once bought him breakfast) said to me,
“Ash when I was young, in class, the teacher would ask, what is 402 x 56? and I’d be the first to put my hand up and say 22,500.
The teacher would say ““Wrong““. What’s interesting is that he was always the first to answer and his answer was always super close. In school, he was wrong but in REAL life, it’s the opposite. What’s really interesting is that he’s now a multi-millionaire, based on his speed of implementation.
Don’t hesitate and don’t completely surround yourself with people that do.
I’ll just note though – people that do move a little slower than you with extreme accuracy, have their place in the world. I certainly wouldn’t want a brain surgeon to be priding themselves on their speediness. Just ensure you read my statement above in the relevant context. I’m referring to what I’ve experienced, as it works in business for people in a CEO-type role.
Spend Money on what will bring you money.
When starting a business, more cash seems to go out, than what comes in (in most cases).
Cash is your blood and if you run out of blood, well.. you die.
So, spend money on things that will make you money.
Spend money on advertising because if you can’t be found, then you’re not going to be very successful at starting a business, are you?
Whenever I was contemplating a purchase, let’s use a footpath sign as an example, I’d think to myself, “That $400 sign is the equivalent to just 4 sets of business cards that I need to sell. After that, the sign is free! However, the sign keeps bringing people through my doors, day after day.”
Lots of people try to cheapen their advertising. They design their own logo themselves, they have a website made by a friend to save money, or they get their business cards for free, online. The issue with that is that you’re basically sticking a big-arse label on your forehead saying “I’m poor” don’t trust me, I’m not successful.” It’s obvious when you try and cheapen things and you’ll never get the right kind of clients if you’re going to go down that path.
By all means, be a cheap-arse on lots of OTHER things. For example, hunt around for the best deal on power, get your 6c off petrol.. whatever. That stuff is important and necessary to survive when starting a business but your advertising needs to make a statement that you represent a serious business.
Some people think “sales” is a dirty word. They think, “I don’t want to be a sleazy salesman.”
I laugh at these comments.
Instead, I challenge people that look down on sales people and think that they are arrogant. I think that, in actual fact, the people who look down on sales people, are the most arrogant people in the world.
You see, they don’t have the confidence to put themselves into a position where someone could reject them. They’re so insecure that they can’t handle the big scary word “no”. They say they’ll never lower themselves to sales but really, they’re just scared of looking vulnerable.
Someone should tell them that sales people are full of courage. Oh, and by the way, they’re the highest paid people in the world, so looking down on them doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Here’s a fact
Without sales, there’s no business.
So the point of my wee rant here is that businesses fail because they focus on the wrong things. They tend to hesitate and get caught up in the details. Guess what? They run out of cash.
Cash is blood, remember? If you run out of blood, you die.
Sales IS NOT a dirty word. There are just a few undesirable people out there that play a win/lose game. You’ll find people like that in every profession.
My good friend once told me, ““Ash, the fundamental difference between a good sales person and a bad one is this: A good one thinks about what’s best for the customer, a bad one only focuses on what’s best for themselves.””
Many sales agencies will disagree with me on this but they’re probably full of sharks that focus on transactions. The best salespeople are ethical and long-term relationship-orientated.
To summarise, do what’s best for your customers, and they’ll keep coming back. Focus ONLY on sales when starting in business.
There’s so much more I could write but perhaps I’ll save that for another article.
Good luck with your adventure!
Drop me a line if you need a sounding board. I’ll try and reply, but don’t be upset if I can’t. I get ALOT of emails.
Also, if you are in fact starting a business, then check out how you can get over $1000 worth of advertising goodies with our Fast Start Pack.