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The 100 greatest ideas for building the business of your dreams

Book Description

How do you rate your job satisfaction? Are you bored by the repetitive nature of your work? Are you tired of the eccentricity, and occasional madness, of the big company you work for? Are you beset with internal politics and meetings, bloody meetings and fed up with it? If so you're probably one of the millions of people who dream of running their own business. But what exactly is the business of your dreams? Do you imagine that sooner or later, you'll sell a business to new investors and leave yourself able to retire early in a state of blissful financial independence? Or maybe you'd rather imagine yourself famous; or maybe just want to improve the way you live. Whatever the case, the time to start planning for the big leap into your own business is now. The 100 greatest ideas for building the business of your dreams will help you answer many of the questions. It will help you to think about the skills and experience you will need when the big day comes. All great businesses are 90% inspiration. The 100 greatest ideas for building the business of your dreams will help you find yours.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. 7 greatest ideas for taking the plunge
    1. Introduction
    2. Two heads are always better than one
    3. Choose a mentor or an assertive arbiter
    4. Be quite clear what your dream is
    5. Know thyself
    6. Ease yourself out by MBO
    7. Couldn’t you work from home?
    8. Feel free – franchise
  3. 10 greatest ideas for planning your business
    1. Introduction
    2. Choose your markets wisely
    3. Use the ‘ideal’ technique to understand your customers
    4. Know thine enemy
    5. Describe and compare the key people
    6. Reach out for your market but stay cost realistic
    7. Make sure the price is right, you collect your money as soon as possible and you get your asking price
    8. Picking your spot
    9. Add up the equipment and start-up costs
    10. Take the banking forms seriously
    11. Plan for a lucky break-even
  4. 6 greatest ideas for becoming a consultant
    1. Introduction
    2. Don’t be worse off
    3. See your value from the customer’s point of view
    4. Know which comes first, the product or the customer
    5. Start by booking your holidays
    6. Don’t let people smell fear
    7. Go with the flow
  5. 4 greatest ideas for working from the office of your dreams
    1. Introduction
    2. Allocate enough space in the home
    3. Find out what is tax deductible
    4. Don’t stint on telephone lines
    5. Then get an office
  6. 5 greatest ideas for financing your business
    1. Introduction
    2. Live by the two greatest financial mantras
    3. What kind of trader are you?
    4. Don’t assume that fraud cannot happen to you
    5. Don’t bet the house
    6. “Give me but one firm spot on which to stand …”
  7. 4 greatest ideas for staffing your business
    1. Introduction
    2. Grow your own head-hunters
    3. Hire the people who fit your dream
    4. Ask the customer
    5. Keep people in your variable costs
  8. 4 greatest ideas for keeping in touch with your market
    1. Introduction
    2. Prospect continuously
    3. Size does count
    4. Get everyone to talk to customers regularly
    5. Speak to the press
  9. 7 greatest ideas for delivering what the customer needs
    1. Introduction
    2. Sellers – take part in sensible buying decisions
    3. Deliver on time and within budget
    4. Take lost business very seriously
    5. Make sure your business processes deliver
    6. Who needs training? Your customer needs training
    7. Gain a reputation as a solution seller
    8. Look back in wonder
  10. 6 greatest ideas for selling big ticket items – business to business
    1. Introduction
    2. Sell a solution to a problem or an opportunity
    3. Sell high
    4. Sell wide
    5. Sell the right benefits to the right person
    6. Business to business selling – never stop qualifying
    7. Use radar to plot your position
  11. 5 greatest ideas for managing your bank
    1. Introduction
    2. Get the basics right and get your money in
    3. KISS and TICK
    4. Keep your cash-flow document up to date
    5. Smile and whistle under all circumstances
    6. Go for as much as you can get
  12. 5 greatest ideas for running the board effectively
    1. Introduction
    2. Keep an honest boardroom
    3. Pay huge attention to your non-executive directors
    4. Do regular stakeholder analysis
    5. Choose the right accountants
    6. Understand your roles and responsibilities
  13. 10 greatest ideas for building the retail business of your dreams
    1. Introduction
    2. Get your attitude right
    3. Exploit what you know and people already in the know
    4. Get the timing right
    5. Find the right premises
    6. Fix your costs and know your costs
    7. Treat your customers as though they were your purpose in life – because they are
    8. Count your customers
    9. Diversify carefully
    10. TICK again
    11. First run a pilot
  14. 10 greatest quick tips for building the dream
    1. Introduction
    2. Don’t let a phone call today set today’s agenda
    3. Know your critical success factors
    4. Don’t expand too quickly
    5. Concentrate on what you are good at…
    6. But don’t ignore opportunities to reduce risk
    7. Expand your market in existing customers
    8. Use mobile technology wisely
    9. Don’t become obsessed with saving tax
    10. Don’t dream your way into stupid projects
    11. Learn from the mistakes of others
  15. 6 greatest ideas for building creative plans
    1. Introduction
    2. With our major customers we’re in it for the long haul
    3. Use a good account planning process
    4. Get the team to toe the line
    5. Connect analysis to objectives tightly
    6. Use radar again
    7. Keep the documentation brief
  16. 8 greatest ideas for growing by acquisition
    1. Introduction
    2. Treat big organizations as a collection of individuals
    3. Think big, unimaginably big
    4. Make sure your people are aiming in the same direction as you
    5. Don’t economize on tax advice
    6. Plan bottom up as well as top down
    7. Take care with fair value adjustments
    8. Don’t bet the firm
    9. Buy the underpants of your dreams
  17. 3 greatest ideas to finish with a bang, not a whimper
    1. Introduction
    2. It needs to be newsworthy to get to market
    3. So, what’s your business worth?
    4. Sell your small business
    5. Contributors of ideas and tips
    6. Acknowledgements
    7. Copyright