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Wonderful Advice for the Would Be Entrepreneur


Wally Bock is one of Americas top management coaches.  To celebrate National Entrepreneurship week in the US and his 25th anniversary in business he has been reflecting on what advice he would give to people thinking of starting a business now.

His advice includes the following:

  1. If you’re thinking about starting a business today, listen. It will always be hard. It will never be the right time. You will never know enough. And you are certain to have at least one big, bad surprise along the way.
  2. Hook up with people who can fill in your gaps and give you good advice. Learn the basics of business.
  3. I suggest that you acquire a rudimentary knowledge of bookkeeping. It will help you understand, in your bones, that to make Profit go up, either Expenses have to go down or Revenue has got to go up.
  4. Cash flow is king. You can make a profit and still be in trouble if your cash flow is bad.
  5. No marketing, no money. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. It won’t sell itself.
  6. You have to be willing to be accountable for everything. For some people that creates awesome stress. Others use it as a source of energy.

It all sounds pretty spot on to me – and not a word about a business plan!  I would especially endorse the recommendation about hooking up with people who can fill your gaps.  Recognise your strengths and play to them.  Recruit others who love to do the stuff that you hate.

The best entrepreneurs, who start the most successful businesses, are builders of great teams.

You can read his full article here.

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  1. February 26, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Lovely Article…

  2. February 26, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, Mike and for those comments of yours that add excellent points.

    You’re right, not a word about a business plan. In the beginning doing is more important, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think first. I often suggest to clients just starting out that they find three successful small business people and explain what their business is and how it will work. Where will customers and money come from? How will you keep customers? What will you spend money on? Those experienced folks can cut to the chase quickly and you’ll have a “plan” that fits in your head and really works.

  3. March 7, 2008 at 9:33 am

    nice advice, mike…but I want to adding one more thing: start up something small is the best way for beginners. You know, something big start up something small, like us, Dinosaurs, elephant, Microsoft,Apple Inc, and so many thing else in the world.

  4. March 7, 2008 at 9:53 am

    I am not always sure that starting something small is the best way. I think a lot depends on how you feel about risk, and also about the nature of the vision that you hold. Some people require a BIG vision to lead them into the future. The thought of doing something modest just does not give them the force that they need to make progress.
    However in general I would agree that cutting your teeth on something that will not end in ruination if it all goes wrong is pretty wise advice!

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