Understanding Cash Flow

April 12th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

A successful[tag] business[/tag] rests on sound recordkeeping practices and solid [tag]cash flow[/tag]. Without good records it is impossible to determine the financial condition or profitability of a business. Similarly, in order to survive a [tag]small business[/tag] must achieve a positive cash flow in the long term. This Financial Guide provides the basic information the owner of a small business need to establish good recordkeeping practices in your business and to minimize cash flow problems.

The contents of the article are,
Recordkeeping—Why It’s Necessary
What Exactly Will The Records Tell You?
The Basic Recordkeeping System
Understanding Cash Flow
Planning A Positive Cash Flow
Keeping A Cash Reserve
Using A Personal Computer

Go there and click on Understanding Cash Flow

A simple path to success

April 11th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

The Simplest Path to [tag]Success[/tag] is a post at lifehack. That´s a writing about how to succeed even if you are nearly to give up.

You don’t need a life plan. You don’t need [tag]motivation[/tag], self-confidence, peer support or even luck. All you need is the willingness to take the next most obvious step—then repeat the process again and again, regardless of how you feel. Try it. Happiness comes from seeing the results of your efforts. You don’t need it before you start.

The article gives two examples. I think it´s worth reading even if your problem is not so bad as in the examples. There is a couching theory also saying that small steps in what is working is a good way to make [tag]changes[/tag].

Mistakes common to many entrepreneurs

April 11th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

The [tag]Cash Flow[/tag] Blog has an interesting article, Are You Making Any of These 10 Deadly [tag]Small Biz[/tag] Mistakes?

The presents a 10 list of traps/mistakes are common to many [tag]entrepreneur[/tag]s:

1. Getting Wedded To an Idea And Sticking With It Too Long.
2. No Marketing Plan.
3. Not Knowing Your Customers.
4. Ignoring Your Cash Position.
5. Ignoring Employees.
6. Confusing Likelihood With Reality.
7. No Sales Plan.
8. Being a Lone Ranger.
9. No Mastermind.
10. Giving Up.

Get the details!

An Alternative Planning Method

April 10th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

We usually base our planning upon false assumptions says Carmine Coyote in his post Slow Planning in two parts.

[tag]Planning[/tag] is one of the commonest [tag]management[/tag] roles. Yet conventional approaches typically fail to match expectations and encourage an attitude of dangerous inflexibility. Slow Planning offers a more rational alternative.

His method is divided in three parts;

1. Patiently develop understanding.
– Watch, reflect, consult and explore.
– Open your mind to many alternatives besides the obvious.
– Wait for recognizable patterns to emerge.
2. Review as many possibilities as you can.
3. Take swift, direct action.

Read all the details!

Negotiation Tutorial

April 6th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Professor Ross of the University of Wisconsin – Lacrosse has an [tag]negotiation[/tag] [tag]tutorial[/tag] that may help you become an effective negotiator.

The tutorial is divided into several topics. Each topic may be considered independently as a “stand-alone” unit (unless otherwise noted). In the block “Integrative Bargaining” he says,

First, you have to really understand your interests. You may need to ask yourself questions such as: “What is it that I really want?” “Why do I want that?” “What are my underlying problems or interests?” “If I couldn’t get what I think I want, what else could satisfy me?”

To make a decision

March 22nd, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Jeffrey Phillips has his own [tag]Decision[/tag] Making Tool. He calls it the Must/Must Not ledger. He says,

This is really a very simple approach to determining what’s important as an outcome. I just take a sheet of paper and divide it down the middle (vertically). One the left half I write the things that “must” occur for the project or decision to be a success. On the right hand I write the things that “must not” happen for the decision to be a success. What this exercise does is to surface the attributes and consequences of a decision and help crystallize my thinking around a particular course of action.

Sometimes you had to take a decision. Then this method is a smart way of analyzing the situation.
[tags]coaching [/tags]

Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?

March 20th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Yes, Entrepreneurship Can, and Is, Being Taught, if by [tag]entrepreneurship [/tag]you are talking about what a person does as they start and build their business.

This is said by Jeff Cornwall who responded to an article in Fortune [tag]Small Business[/tag].
Jeff writes,

I believe there are two critical aspects of entrepreneurship education that increase success rates. First, we teach them what deals not to go into through the process of [tag]opportunity [/tag]assessment. We teach them how to “fail on paper.” They learn how to create discipline around their instincts and drive to move ahead blindly into the pursuit of their ideas. Second, we teach them about how to manage growth effectively. Any banker will tell you that this is where most businesses fail. We teach them about the challenges that success can create as their ventures grow. As one banker likes to say, “Too much success leads to failure.”

If you are an entrepreneur with a good idea you better had to read the article.


What’s the Difference between Business Plan or Strategic Plan

March 19th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Everyone talks about the need for a firm to have a definitive plan. What kind of plan does your firm need–a [tag]strategic plan[/tag] or a [tag]business plan[/tag]? The easy answer is that you need both. But you may need one more than the other.

What’s the difference between the two plans? Simply put, a strategic plan is a [tag]leadership[/tag] tool; a business plan is a management tool. To decide which plan your firm needs, ask yourself these questions: Is leadership different from [tag]management[/tag]? Does your company need both? Which is needed more?

This is said by Hank M. Harris in an article, Business Plan or Strategic Plan: What’s the Difference? and puts the question; Which do you think your firm needs most–more leadership or more management?

Read more …..


Create great headlines

March 17th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Do you really understand how the [tag]marketing[/tag] brain works? Are you harnessing its immense potential to make your [tag]business[/tag] generate greater [tag]revenues[/tag]? Wouldn’t your strategy and tactics be vastly different, if you understood these psychological marketing ideas?

This is said by Sean D’Souza in PsychoTactics™. You can download a pdf below that you can use to create great headlines.



All an entrepreneur has to know

March 15th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

From O’Reilly Radar I read a summary from talks with [tag]entrepreneurs[/tag]. The presentation is called “Entrepreneuring for Geeks.”
The summary or porverbs is divided in 5 sections; Starting, The [tag]Idea[/tag], People, Product and [tag]Money[/tag].

Here are some extracts,
Cool ideas are useless without great needs — this is the classic engineers’ entrepreneurial mistake (or at least I’d like to think so, since I’ve made it). Techies love tech, and a new technology can produce a lot of companies that don’t really meet a need. Better to start with the need, and then see how what you know can produce a better answer to that need. (Marketers tend to have the opposite problem: real, pressing needs with completely unworkable solutions.)
Build the simplest thing possible — engineers have the hardest time with this, with not overdesigning for the need they’re addressing. Make the simplest possible product that makes a significant dent in that need, and you’ll do far better than you would addressing two or three needs at once. Simplicity leads to clarity in everything you do.
Solve problems, not potential problems — you can waste a lot of money implementing solutions for problems you don’t have yet, and may never have. Work on the biggest, most pressing problems today, and put aside everything else.
Test everything with real people — it’s unbelievable how helpful this is. Go find civilians, real people who use computers because they have to and not because they love to.

Start with nothing, and have nothing for as long as possible — small budgets give big focus. Don’t go out and raise a ton of money right away. Instead, give yourself just enough to get going, and use the limits that imposes to motivate yourself.
The best investor pitches are plainspoken and entertaining (not in that order) — think about what this implies. A plainspoken pitch is the surface of a very solid business. If you have to fudge and lie to get investors interested, why is that?
Never let on that you’re keeping a secret — telling an investor “I don’t want to talk about that” is terrible. It’s the natural converse of being plainspoken.

Assess your personality

March 14th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

PersonalDNA.com and Attap Technologies, have developed a new kind of [tag]personality test[/tag] which is free, fun, fast and accurate. Their test has been designed by a team of professional psychologists. It employs innovative answering techniques, allowing for increased accuracy and an enjoyable process.

You can try the test and see how you score. But you can also let other people [tag]assess[/tag] you and compare the results afterwards.

What if you don´t like giving presentations

March 13th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

[tag]PowerPoint[/tag] presentation can be very good, especially if you follow certain rules, like not too many slides and writings with 30 p.
But Seth Godin has this thought:
The best presentation might be no [tag]presentation[/tag].

Step 1: get a confederate (a helper, not someone from Atlanta) to sit in the audience ready with the first obviously seeded question.

Step 2: Walk onstage. No laptop.

Step 3: “Any questions?”

Step 4: The seeded question is something like: “So, Seth, what have you been up to?”

Answer it. In English. Like the person you are, not the flat, stressed, boring person you become when you have a Powerpoint under your control.

At that point, five minutes into it, you’ve told me an honest human story about why you came and what you’re up to. Now, the audience, sufficiently engaged, will happily pepper you with questions for your entire alloted time.

Use your genius in a better way

March 10th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Dave Pollard has lately been discussing the intersection of your [tag]genius[/tag] and what´s needed. As [tag]entrepreneurs[/tag] we have a lot of ideas, some based upon what we love to do, some what are needed but without the skill from our part.

Dave thinks that maybe when identifying opportunities, you better start exploring an [tag]opportunity[/tag] with someone else instead by yourself.

He says,

But here’s another idea: Instead of starting with what you think you might want to do, what about starting with who you’d like to do it with? My top advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is don’t try to start a business yourself. The biggest problem with navel-gazing around the chart above is that it inevitably starts you thinking about working alone, doing it all yourself. Maybe the perfect work for you is working as a partner in an enterprise that does things that are wildly beyond your personal competencies and even knowledge, but draws on your skills and passion in ways that are essential to the enterprise.

Video presentation on marketing

March 8th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

[tag]Successful market[/tag]ers don´t tell the truth. They don´t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story. A story we want to believe.

Seth Godin writes that in his new book, “All Marketers are Liars”. Seth Godin is, as you know, the author of six bestsellers and is also a renowned speaker.

For those who cannot afford to listen to him you can see a video from his presentation at Google. It takes about one hour and he talks about what he means with All Marketers are Liars.

Seth has also stared a blog around the theme “All Marketers are Liars”.
[tags]coaching, marketing [/tags]

Angel Capital

March 7th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Guy Kawasaki has written may good articles about venture capital and how to address the venture capitalist. Now he has an article on the art of raising angel capital.

He writes,
Make no mistake about it: There is an art to raising angel capital. Raising angel capital is not harder or easier than raising institutional venture capital–it’s simply different. Here’s how to do it.

Guy Kawasaki has made a list of eight things to think about. Here are four of them which you definitely must think of,

  • Make sure they’re sophisticated investors.Sophisticated angel investors have knowledge and expertise in your industry–they will have “been there and done that.”
  • Don’t underestimate them.Do everything on the venture capitalist wishlist because the days of angel investors as “easy marks” are gone forever
  • Understand their motivation. Typically, angel investors have a double bottom line. They’ve “made it,” so now they want to “pay back” society by helping the next generation of entrepreneurs.
  • Make your story comprehensible to a spouse.You must make it comprehensible to the angel’s husband when he asks, “What are we going to invest $100,000 into?”
  • Very good reading as his posts always are.