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A Serial Entrepreneur Becomes A Millionaire From An Accidental Startup

Monis Rahman, serial entrepreneur, accidentally launched Rozee.pk when he needed to find more programmers for his startup.

Getting A Mentor

I had a strategy session with a business start-up owner a few months ago. She was six months into her start-up and needed some ideas during her development stage.

Simple Steps To Creating Your First Website

When you make that decision to start a business, you immediately become a multi-tasking maniac. Let's face it, you will have a lot of work on your hands.

Why 'Core Competency' Is Important To A Startup

Well, I like the answer that Norm Brodsky gives in his book, The Knack: "It was the one thing we had that our competitors couldn't offer, and by the time they caught up, we had a foothold in the market and were known for providing that service."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ask Yourself Why?

I just hosted a teleconference the other day for my Business Club members, and I talked about the reasoning behind the topic of my new book. I wrote A Different Business after realizing that my most successful client relationships came from working with those entrepreneurs who were driven by purpose in business. Purpose-driven businesses have a reason that drives their business, they're less chaotic, less undecided, and they don't create completely different businesses every year. It's as if this purpose drives them to be different in business and create meaningful office cultures and services.

So just the other day, I decided to do an exercise that I gave to my clients--I sat and thought about the real reason I started my business and formulated my purpose statement. Two days later, I ran across the first brochure that I created for my company. Within my mission statement then, were the words I had infused into my purpose statement now--"help create a level-playing field for people starting a business."

What I realized was that the "how" changed for me but the "why" did not. The mission for Isaac Business Services is this,
"To create a level playing field within entrepreneurship for new entrepreneurs; where everyone has the chance to be star players."
We do this through simple business planning methods, simplified business education, personal relationships and accountability, a one-stop-shop of business advisors, individual hand-holding, business club environment, etc. We still have far to go (and a website to update if I must be honest), but I can assure you that we'll be around for the long-haul.

Some people may say that entrepreneurship is already about a level playing field so why bother? But is it? When centers for entrepreneurs host classes that are taught by non-entrepreneurs, is it really a level playing field? When business planners charge $8000 or more for business planning services, and cater to mid-sized businesses, do new entrepreneurs really have a chance to play on that field? When certain institutions only offer training and funding to new tech-based companies, is it a field where every new entrepreneur can be a star player?

If you want to find out the "why" that drives your small business, do this simple exercise I gave to my clients. Draft this short sentence for yourself and fill in the blanks:

I help people _______ because I truly believe that if they ___________ they will be able to __________.

It's a short and simple statement but it will lead you to your purpose in business.

Some say that it is too premature for a new business to create a mission statement. I disagree. Every business, no matter the stage, has a reason for starting. The responsibility lies on the shoulders of the founder to dig deep and find the core of his/her business' existence.

Cheryl Isaac is a business planner who helps make business planning simple for new businesses and small businesses starting something new in business. She is the author of the book, A Different Business and the Founder of Isaac Business Services.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Don't Hate The Business Plan When You Don't Hate The Business!

"I don't need a business plan, I've started TEN businesses!"

"I don't need a plan, I just need to get to work on my business!"

"A business plan?!" Smirk. "I just need a customer and I'm IN business!"

"Business plans are useless and just crappy documents!"

I can go on and on about the business plan sentiments I hear frequently. Some business owners are comedians. They amuse me. They just don't get it. You were already planning your business the minute you started brainstorming. It's not about the document, it's about the planning which comes in various forms of documents.

The minute you tell someone else that they don't need to plan, you've done entrepreneurship a disfavor. The question is never about the planning. It's about the method. The numerous businesses started by some, took some planning on their end.

Ever attended an event that was poorly planned? Or what about the dinner date you went on with the person who didn't bother to make reservations? You probably found yourself  waiting outside of a crowded restaurant thinking, what an idiot!

Well, no planning makes you look like that idiot. If you don't hate your business, why do you hate your business planning?

Planning is a smart decision that smart business owners make. The power of focus is vital for any business owner and business planning gives you focus. You take a central idea and discover how to build a business with pizzazz and stamina around that idea.

You then include numbers and theories. Then you spend some time dissecting those numbers and theories. From there, you decide whether this business idea was even a good idea.

None-planners can be spotted miles away. They usually have ideas with no fizzle. They tell you they're in the middle of accomplishing things that never get accomplished. Their minds wander a lot and they lack focus.  

You don't want to be that person do you?

Cheryl Isaac is a business planner who helps make business planning simple for new businesses and small businesses starting something new in business. She is the author of the book, A Different Business

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why Artists Can Be Great Candidates for Product-Based Start-ups

A unique business product usually includes a tour of the patent process. If you want to see your product on the shelves  of WalMart, Macy's, or some other big department store or retailer, you want to protect it. Besides wanting to protect your invention, you also want to ensure that you're not infringing upon someone else's patent or trademark rights. An initial sweep of the United States Patent & Trademark Office will help you during your brainstorming process. 

If you're an artist or some sort of creative genius, you could be a great candidate for a product based start-up. The first reason is that you are creative. You can envision your product and draft a sketch of the image on paper or in some computerized dimensional format. Secondly, you can develop a  prototype faster and more efficiently than the average person. You have right brain abilities that most wish they had.

A prototype is the model on which your product will be based or designed. So I'm sure you can assume how important it will be to have a great prototype to show to your patent attorney, patent agent, manufacturer, potential partner, etc.

Tamara Monosoff, Author of Mom's Inventor Handbook, says that developing a prototype by hand is the easiest route to take. If you are an artistic inventor, this advice is a game being played right in your ballpark. Monosoff says, "while it may seem easier to hire a professional, developing your own prototype can be a cost-efficient first step that can help to better articulate your vision to a professional." She also warns to have one before interviewing patent attorneys.

Artists tell me all the time how the business development part of business ownership bores them. I hear all the time that they'll much rather concentrate on the craft. The creativity. The design. The exploratory aspect. 

Well, I'm telling you now--you have an advantage if you are inventing a product. Start with what you know best.

Cheryl Isaac is a business planner who helps make business planning simple for new businesses and small businesses starting something new in business. She is the author of the book, A Different Business.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Are You a Pioneer in Business?

I was reading through some notes I took at a conference and I ran across this quote that I like a lot:

" You're a pioneer when you're doing something that nobody's succeeding at but you're trying to succeed." (James Marker)

A lot of business advisors may say that this thought is silly. Why re-invent the wheel when you don't have to? Some may say that if no one is succeeding, then perhaps it is a sign that there is not a market, no need, etc.

I beg to differ. Just think about it, without pioneers and true innovators, we won't have many of the products or new businesses that we now have. We won't have unique blend of services being designed in unique ways to fit unique target audiences. 

I'm certain that when the founders of Twitter began their journey, they were probably mocked at first. People probably thought, what is this funny looking logo, weird website, and who wants to talk about what they're doing anyway? Look at Twitter now. Their founders probably have a good laugh in the background at the expense of you naysayers.

You're a pioneer in business when you can:

  • Design your services to successfully capture an audience that others have given up on.
  • Build a business model that works in such a unique way that makes others curious enough to buy.
  • Design a product that looks and acts different, yet fulfills long-awaited needs.
  • Successfully do what no one else with your age or your background has done.
  • Make someone else say, "If only I had met you years ago...or if your product had been around years ago...my life would have been easier."
You're a pioneer in your own right when you can accomplish these things. Now all you have to do is let the world know that you exist.

To do that, read any of Seth Godin's books. Or Mitch Meyerson's. Or Jay Conrad Levinson's.  You should get some great insight from these books. They'll help you create awareness for your startup business. 

Go! Become a pioneer in your own right!

Cheryl Isaac is the creator of this blog and the author of the book, A Different Business. To get a free copy of her e-book, click here, From Dream To Business Ebook 

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