Should Business Startups Be Afraid of the Dark? Part (1)

No One is Afraid of the Dark!

Being afraid of the dark is a common misconception. No one is afraid of the dark!

We are afraid of what we may not be able to see, due to the dark! We are afraid of what may be lurking nearby.

Business Startup? Why you should [email protected]@K 4 the Invisible!

When starting up a business, you should [email protected]@K 4 the Invisible. Yes you can’t see it. But you may be able to hear it.

A fledgling business will want to move into a sector, as well as a locality, that is thriving. A city location that is on the way up will do just fine. We highlight two phenomena that contemporary enterprise literature has omitted to bring to the fore.

  1. An inability to access low cost, culturally networked, labor & services.
  2. Humongous cost overruns, incurred battling, to redeem the cost of crime.

Access to Labor & Services via Cultural Networks

Jam packed restaurants, full to overflowing. Kebab shops open all night. Taxi firms by the dozen. These all look like great sectors to be in. We all have to eat! Thereby, it follows that another restaurant, in the same locality, will take off like a rocket. Right? Wrong!

This article wards off the entrepreneur, urging caution before jumping feet first into business implementation. The appearance of a busy business, does not automatically translate to money in the bank. Let us begin, with a study of what an entrant into the convenience store sector, might have experienced, in the late 70s.

Gujarati migration into the UK from East Africa in 1975, particularly from Uganda, saw a single immigrant generation, run, with much success, small convenience stores aka corner shops. Why wouldn’t you want to follow?

The labor, required to run all aspects of these corner shops, was drawn from a pool of family & friends. Call it what you will, a gift or a curse, the same selfless family unit, would not normally be on tap, to one born and bred in the USA.

Hey. Suppose the new entrant’s business plan factored in a workforce of two FTEs full time equivalents. This oversight alone would have been irreversible.

These cultural networks are invisible to the naked eye. They lubricate access to low-cost services from an ethnic group. The cultural network, may even work against businesses whose owners are not aligned to a mandated religion.

So without access to this cultural network, a new market entrant could not hope to make her business profitable.

Crime may not pay, but to the small business, crime costs

Crime that makes the headlines is serious crime. As such it is topmost in our minds. As business leaders, we quite rightly seek to implement appropriate mitigators, proportional to the risk level. Crime by itself, pleads guilty to a hike in business costs, mimicking an auction on steroids.

As such, the costs of securing your premises, your stock, and your people, can be disproportionate, in light of the meagre revenue generated by a small retail outfit.

Rightly or wrongly, the security industry, providing products & services to counter any, indeed every threat known to man, can occasionally be caught licking their lips, come rain or shine.

We are sold CCTV, panic buttons, trip wire, infra-red sensors, bio-metric safes, pressure pads, smart tills and all manner of door and window locks.

Serious crimes are rare. Petty crime will account for at least 80% of business losses. Not a petty sum. This can include paying to remove graffiti, as well as losses incurred from transgressions such as shop-lifting.

Retail entrants have much cud to chew, from the “fields of crime”, that grow in their backyards. As well as the prophylaxis & cure of crime, grossly understated, is the pathological trail, left in the wake of the misdemeanors.

An information age without information

It is with sad irony, that in our information age, the enterprise startup, almost always on a shoestring budget, literally running on empty, is allowed to fall victim to the aforementioned ills.

Video Production Business Tips – The Three Heads of Your Video Production Business

The Three Headed Monster

I mentioned in my post a few days ago that I spent the weekend reading a book about starting your business. It discusses the fact that all business owners (especially small, one-person businesses) have to think about running their company from the perspective of three different types of people.

I call this the Three Headed Monster.

The Technician (Or Videographer/Editor)

This is where most of us are when we start our video production companies. We are either tired of working for “the man” and believe we can use this skill to go out on our own or we just think it would be cool to make videos for a living. This is great at first when we are excited about the possibilities of what the future may hold but after we get a few months or a few years into it, we realize that it takes a lot more to be successful in business than to just be able to make a great video.

It’s hard to run a business if you only operate inside this “head.”

The Manager (Or Video Producer, Production Manager, Director)

This is the part of our business where we have to not only do the work, but we have to manage others helping us do the work – Scheduling, managing quality, meeting deadlines, collecting materials from clients, etc. In most cases, this is the area of our business that causes the dreaded “burn out” and why a lot of very talented videographers/editors fail.

If you learn how to better manage your responsibilities inside this “head” you can do well in this business, but not as well as if you can master the next “head” plus the previous two.

The Entrepreneur (Or Visionary, Systems Maker, Rainmaker)

This is the part of our lives that makes the business grow to a point where we make more than $100,000 a year doing what we love. The problem is that the “Technician” and “Manager” in us get in the way all the time which holds us back. The Entrepreneur works on building systems so the previous two responsibilities become easier with time even if you are the one doing everything. It’s vitally important that this “head” constantly improves regarding overall business skills, negotiation tactics, networking, etc. so that the other two “heads” will have a reason to exist.

What’s the moral of the story?

In order to run a successful video production company, each component of Three Headed Monster must master their respective areas in the business. You can’t ignore any of them.

If you don’t like to manage, learn how or you will fail to achieve your potential.

If you aren’t interested in learning how to be a better entrepreneur, learn to like it or get out because you will fail to achieve your potential.

If you like to be entrepreneurial and manage the company but you don’t want to keep doing all the shooting and editing, start developing processes so that you can hire someone to help you. However, I’m pretty sure that if you just take a little bit of time to train yourself how to do all three responsibilities a little more efficiently, your business as a whole will be more enjoyable and profitable.

5 Powerful Tips You Should Consider Before Buying a Restaurant Business

Buying a restaurant business does not entail just paying for one just because it is available for sale. There are many things that you should consider before you make a purchasing decision. If you work with a business broker, he can help you weigh the pros and cons. It is important to note that not all that glitters is gold. Here are 5 powerful tips you should consider before buying a restaurant business. Follow these tips and you would be making a smart business move instead of wasting your money on some dud.

  • Location is Key

When you want to decide if a restaurant is going to be a success or not, consider the location. You do not want a restaurant stuck in the middle of nowhere, no matter how good the food might be. You should be looking for a place that is accessible and located in a busy area. If you are in a place that people cannot reach you, your restaurant business is doomed. Nobody likes to go through stress just to grab a meal.

  • Why is the Owner Selling?

Do not just whip out your wallet and pay for a restaurant business that is up for sale. You need to find out why the owner is putting up his business for sale. Find out if the business has been appraised. Do your research on restaurants in the area and find out how much they are worth. This will help you decide if you are getting a bargain or if the owner is trying to fleece you off your hard-earned cash. Most buyers are economical with the truth. It is up to you to get to the bottom of the reason for the sale and how much the business is actually worth.

  • Inspection

Before you buy a restaurant ensure that the building is in good shape and everything else is in proper working condition. Imagine, paying up to $50,000 in cash and finding out that the air-conditioning is a relic from the 1980′s. The restaurant should be fully functional. If you do not carry out a proper inspection, chances are you would hit by a ton of bills by spend time repairing stuff instead of trying to turn a profit. If there are repairs that need to made, you can negotiate and take it out from the purchase price.

  • Jack of All Trades

If you have no restaurant experience, it is never a good idea to purchase a one-man restaurant where you play cook, waiter, cashier, manager and owner. You might think that you are saving costs. However, this could be a disaster in the making. Avoid buying any restaurant with this type of set up in place. Go for a restaurant where things are well structured, where the owner employs a manager who in turns supervises a team of people who contribute to the successful running of the restaurant.

  • Go for Reputation

Buying a restaurant with a bad reputation is like flushing your money down a toilet. You are hurting yourself and putting yourself in a position that you may never recover from forever. If you want to buy a restaurant, gun for a one that has an enviable track record in service delivery. It should also have a great customer base of faithful people who will continue to patronize the business even though ownership has changed hands.