This series of 11 small business books answers many questions you may have about starting and running a business. Save 20% when you buy the whole series now through Oct 15, 2017.
Small business owners need to be aware of legal requirements, financial resources, record-keeping requirements, marketing basics and strategies, communication skills, human resource laws, as well as issues that may arise on a day-to-day basis. Knowing and following the laws will keep you out of legal trouble. Knowing and applying the skills needed to run your business on a day-to-day basis will increase the odds of your success.
The Rule of Thumb small business books will assist you in gaining a basic understanding of what it takes to operate a small business successfully. Each easy to read small business book is less than 125 pages and make a great desk reference for any small business owner.
Check out our author’s small business articles at ruleofthumbbiz.com
According to the accepted system of accounting for time, there are 24 hours in a day. That rule is the same for everyone in every culture and in every country. However, many entrepreneurs try to squeeze 25-30 hours into a day. While this is a physical impossibility, we try things like double tasking – you know, talking on the phone while typing up an invoice. Or listening to our voice mail while checking our e-mail. Even the questionable habit of checking e-mail while driving.
A good time management system can be the entrepreneur or small business person’s best friend. There are many “programs” and “services” designed to help us be better time managers. Some programs are designed to be production management tools while others are focused on accounting or other portions of your business. The best one is the one you will actually use. A program on your computer taking up storage space or a system that sits on the shelf gathering dust is only an unnecessary business expense.
Talk to your network and see which system has been most effective for them. What have they tried? Are there some systems they would avoid and others they would recommend? Think about your business processes and flow. Are there bottle-necks or traffic jams? Would an automated system help you track or possibly even deflect those areas? Time management does not necessarily require a high-tech answer. Your situation may be solved by the use of a good calendar system.
24 hours is the maximum effort for a day. Value your time and make the highest value use your first priority each day.
Business Valuation is an activity normally associated with an established business, not a start-up. However, even a brand new business has a measurable value. Completing a business valuation sets a benchmark and a starting point for evaluating future company growth. It is very tempting to be optimistic when starting a new business. An independent valuation can help keep your stated value realistic.
If an evaluation is completed annually, it can be compared to your projections and help you make decisions about needed adjustments to your business plan. When you need to speak to investors, the business valuation will let you have concrete information to share. Many authors and financial advisors suggest completing an Asset Valuation, a Market Demand, and an Income Valuation. Consistently evaluating these reports will help you have a better understanding of your company’s growth and potential.
It is more difficult for a service-oriented business with no employees to document value. However, a service business still needs to be prepared to state the value of their business for potential investors or future owners. Budgeting for (and preparing) an annual evaluation is a good business practice.
An FTE is a “full-time equivalent” and is recognized as 2080 hours a year. Growth can be measured in several ways and one way is knowing if you require more production hours to meet your customer demand. Many entrepreneurs start on a shoestring and perform most, if not all, of the tasks required to produce and distribute their product.
Some have assistance from family members and friends who volunteer to help. It is not uncommon for children or grandchildren to help with some of the packaging, labeling, computer tasks and other duties. Often a spouse will help with the billing or recordkeeping.
These donated hours are frequently lost in the shuffle of starting a business and are seldom documented. Of course, when you are established and have paid staff these hours will figure into budget needs and business reports which require tracking employee hours. However even without paid staff, you should be tracking these hours if you want to truly understand your company.
In addition to recognizing the signs of needing more help because you have more business, tracking FTE has several benefits. If you need to request financing or wish to sell all or part of your business, the prospective investor will need a good-faith estimate of the actual hours required to run your business. They will not have the advantage of your volunteers and will need to budget for paid staff.
So, yes, if you are working on or in your business you are an FTE.
Ad men live in a world of puns, quips, rhymes, jingles, and anecdotes— with a touch of poetry—a world of words and phrases, which grab the mind and stick. If you publish a magazine, it is copywriting writ large. It’s all stories. Stories that will not only entice your subscribers to renew their subscriptions but also will attract new advertisers—the lifeblood of radio, magazines, newspapers, and television. Copywriting writ small must accomplish the same end for your product or service. Whether it is William Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Ernest Hemmingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, both authors rode the power of the written word to success, albeit a different style, a different time, a different audience. Remember, the only reason a business exists is to make a profit. If you decide to write your own copy, I suggest that you take a walk, visit a business, and write in your mind copy for that business.
Advertising made simple, check out the book “Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics“