Entrepreneurial success depends on a few basic principles along with a balance between the heart and the mind. The heart of an entrepreneur inspires the passion and spirit of every venture. The mind verifies and ensures that the venture can realistically succeed. Following are 8 of the 20 principles that govern the core of entrepreneurial success.
1. Greatest Skill of an Entrepreneur
The greatest challenge entrepreneurs have is in developing the ability to ask for HELP.
I consider all the skills we teach to be important. However, I firmly believe that knowing when and how to ask for help is the most critical. Many ventures have been lost because of vanity, shame, and numerous other emotional grounds for avoiding this measure. While this powerful word is essential for any entrepreneur hoping to survive in the business arena, few incorporate it as part of their success model until it is too late. Put ego aside. The true test of success is not in the profit of a venture, but in its ability to survive the test of time. Statistics confirm that each year less than 5% of the ventures begun survive more than 12 years. I believe that businesses succeed because of my pro-active use of this powerful word.
As no one has all the answers to the numerous dilemmas that an entrepreneur faces, the critical nature of having this skill is evident. Without it more dreams will die and potential may never be realized. Humble yourself enough to ask for HELP and know that one day you will be asked to give it.
2. Principle of the Ladder
Over the years, others have learned through trial and error lessons that have taken them to a certain point. They have climbed a figurative ladder. Instead of fighting, why not take what others have done and raise it to higher levels? Then, allow others to take what you have done and challenge them to achieve even higher rungs on the ladder.
This lesson still needs to be emphasized as one of the most important concepts for entrepreneurs
to master and learn.
Sadly, in my teachings, I have seen similar mistakes being committed over and over again. Entrepreneurs continually use only trial and error strategies in their businesses. However, if an entrepreneur adopts the first concept of help and incorporates the expertise and knowledge gained by people who have climbed the ladder before them, the potential for success is far greater.
Every community possesses a wealth of knowledge. Tap into the lessons of your entrepreneurial elders, those who have gone through it before you and survived. There will be plenty of pitfalls unique to your venture to fall into. By adopting the ladder as part of your business philosophy, you will learn pro-actively.
3. The Mirror
“Anything you do, you do for the person in the mirror. Share with others if need be.”
Too often, people create business plans, marketing strategies, and financial proposals to please someone else. They might be written by “experts” using pre-defined models and methods, yet they are not designed for the entrepreneur and are often discarded or filed away. Every plan, every strategy should reflect your uniqueness, your ideas, and your vision.
I use the mirror to test any new idea, concept, or plan before attempting to convince anyone else. It’s easy lie to other people, but if you lie to yourself, you are cheating yourself. Buy a small mirror, put it up in your office. When you need to convince someone of what you are doing or going to do, look into it, and state your case. Does it feel real? A real business plan or strategy is created for you and shared with others; it becomes a “living plan.” Sadly, most plans and strategies do not measure up to this standard. Change this with a mirror.
4. Take Risks – with Parachutes
Being an entrepreneur means accepting certain facts as conditions. The first and most important condition is that of risks. It is easy to lay blame on anything that comes to mind as the reason for our state negates what entrepreneurship is all about. There are risks in all decisions we make, and as such, it is important we take a realistic approach to ventures. If someone states that there is no job security, or the venture undertaking is risky, a realistic approach would be to incorporate these facts within an approach.
Many entrepreneurs begin their ventures based on passion, but passion does not create success. It is the first step, and often holds a venture together, especially in the “valleys” of its progression.
The analogy I use in teaching this principle is as follows: An entrepreneur who undertakes a venture is like someone standing on the edge of a 200-foot cliff. There is a time that a decision has to be made, either to jump or to back away. Life is continually filled with times where we have to make decisions that map our destiny. You stand tall, look down, and if you are passionate enough, jump! In our society, entrepreneurs are jumping each and every day. Each knowing they are unique enough, each knowing they have the answer, each believing – for many all the way to the bottom! Each year, bankruptcy increases, and each person began their venture believing in the vision. But vision and passion is not enough! I believe in taking the leap, but my father made sure that when I leapt, I did so with a properly packed parachute.
There are three components to any venture and plan. They compose the acronym A.S.K. – ASK and you shall succeed!
Passion abilities. Attitude is often the only ally an entrepreneur has, especially in the downtimes. Attitude has allowed me to battle numerous barriers. But attitude alone is not enough; sadly, over-positive attitudes is one of the main reasons for business failures today.
Application abilities. Attitude may be the heart of an entrepreneur, but without skills, they don’t survive long. An entrepreneur must master administration, operations, marketing, and ownership in their venture if they are going to succeed. These skills are critical – to understand each area is not enough.
Understanding abilities. An entrepreneur has to understand every aspect of their own venture, for it is not within the strength of a venture that eventual failure arises, it is within the weaknesses.
We are in a society where judgments prevail. Much is said about what a successful business is, what it looks like, acts like, and owns. There appears to be consensus that 2% of the population have the “success,” they are considered the winners in our society.
It is not the idolizing of the 2% that has me concerned, is the acceptance by the 98% that what they are, who they are, and what they do isn’t deemed good enough. In our society we place labels everywhere – slow kids, handicapped, obese people, happy, sad, abused – the list is endless.
Growing up, I felt the eyes of society as I was labeled. I was not that good in school, not popular, not overly tall. In fact if the labels were true, I shouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. What I have come to understand, and was continually challenged by my father, was not the labels given, but the acceptance of a label and the boundaries that are associated with them.
My father was concerned that if someone said I was slow, I would accept it and use it as an excuse. Too often labels create excuses that are used as justifying a current state. Yes, there are principles critical to succeeding in any venture, but even though labels are used on many who want to become an entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean they can’t succeed. It means modifying approaches, becoming more creative, or working that much harder in achieving goals.
My father was kind, but strict in my development. He stated that others have a right to their opinion, but I didn’t have to accept their opinions as fact. How many of us have not even attempted a dream because someone said it was impossible? Here is a fact for every dreamer: Every single invention and creation is going to be challenged. Will you rise to the occasion?
Everyone has shortcomings, and sadly society tends to point them out first before pointing out the positives. I get frustrated with many of the labels provided me, especially cultural ones, when I do workshops. I have, as my father has taught me, adopted a very simple philosophy in coaching entrepreneurs: Help Everyone Realize Opportunities (H.E.R.O.s).
You are going to be challenged, that is part of what being an entrepreneur is about. Those who should be supporting you may not. Those whom you feel should be your allies may not. Part of the fortitude of an entrepreneur is not to prove others wrong, but to test your own resolve. I believe you need to create your own set of standards, your own 100% model, and map your own progress.
6. Face the Truth – and Deal With It
The great North American pastime cannot be part of an entrepreneur’s mindset. It may be the toughest of the H.E.R.O.’s principles to master. What is it? Fantasies and dreams. Each day we dream of what we would do if we won the lottery. What will happen with the next contract, how we will do things differently – if only. If only – a phrase I have heard over and over again. In one of my early contracts, I was asked to clean up the administration system of an auto dealership. On the first day with the office administrator, she showed me a very unique filing system. She stated whatever she couldn’t do today would be deferred to a tomorrow file. With all due respect to everyone studying this material, we all have created a “tomorrow file” of some sort.
Ventures are built on dreams, but survive based on realistic strategies and systems. Problems don’t go away, if left alone they only get larger. Use the analogy of a cancer cell – it begins with one and spreads. This is a very simple and straightforward principle, one that needs strong fortitude to deal with. One of the greatest weaknesses of entrepreneurs is their reluctance to budget. It is through budgeting that the venture, once started, communicates to its owners what is happening. Many have told me the reason for not budgeting is knowing where one truly stands. It is better, I guess, to differ and hope tomorrow’s lottery purchases will make it all better. Sadly it doesn’t work this way for the majority. It is time to deal with the issues and pains of your situation on a daily basis. I was once was asked if a business can run devoid of problems. I responded by saying yes … when it dies!
“Tackle the challenges of each day, plan for the gifts of tomorrow, and understand the lessons of yesterday.” It is the H.E.R.O.’s pledge, adopt it as yours. It’s far easier to put off what needs to be done to the future, but sooner or later you are going to have to deal with your situation.
7. Learn Less, Apply More
There is a wonderful saying, “Knowledge is power.” I firmly believed for many years in this concept.
I spent many hours studying, taking notes, and learning, until one day when a mentor of mine, Dr. Raymond Hebert, a man who challenged many of my early principles and concepts, challenged me on this one. I recall one day sitting with Dr. Hebert, quoting experts, noting what I had learned, in order to impress him. After enlightening him, he paused and asked me to show him what I had done with all this new and impressive knowledge. I was stunned. For years, I invested heavily into books, audiotapes, and videos, strengthening my knowledge, preparing. I told him of the “knowledge is powerful” principle, and looking me straight in the eyes, he stated, “Knowledge is important, but what you do with it is truly powerful.’
With that comment, I adopted the “learn less and apply more” as part of the entrepreneurs’ principles. In workshops and presentations, I see many note takers, people diligently jotting down every idea, every concept, making sure all the information is understood. These same people nodding in approval of the valuable information learnt. Yet, statistically, I heard that the majority of these note takers don’t apply what has been revealed!
It is time to stop taking notes and apply what you learn, it is time to stop note taking and become a note applicator. It is stated if we only used 1% more of the technology available now, how improved we would become. It is stated if we use 1% more of our mind how much smarter we would be. It is stated if we improve 1% per month how much our bottom line would increase. Each of these statements has an action component attached to it. The graveyard is filled with unused talents. Learn as much as you can, because entrepreneurs require constant knowledge to survive in our changing economy. More importantly, act on what you are learning, apply something each time you learn, and that 1% could be yours.
8. Upstream Management
We have all heard this statement: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.“ I am a great believer of prevention as a business principle; in fact the entire H.E.R.O.’s program is built around this philosophy. All the components presented in the H.E.R.O.’s program provide the foundation so that the opportunity to deal with situations earlier can result in less stress to the entrepreneur, especially in the early stages of a ventures life.
The H.E.R.O.’s model for management principles is based on a river. I describe it as the “River of Health.” At the top of the river the waters are clear, at the bottom, the waters are polluted. The earlier a problem is detected the better, and it can be done by developing systems throughout an organization. We are all part of a system – be it society, economic, social, or family. Every entrepreneur can create models that allow for early detection of bottlenecks before they become a major crisis.
I break down the river into two separate management concepts. At the top system, bottlenecks are “challenges.” A health analogy is a person is getting a cold. What can they do to prevent it from getting worse? At the bottom of the river, the bottlenecks are “crises.” What can they do to get better now? At the top we have time to minimize impact, at the bottom we don’t, so we have to solve the problem.
In any venture, systems should be developed and created to address how to effectively manage challenges and crises. This is done through the creation of policies and procedures – how and why something is done. It is important that as an entrepreneur you develop upstream management concepts and principles so that the cost and pain of dealing with polluted situations are minimized.
We are a society (economic, health, education, politics, etc.) that speaks of prevention and its value and importance. Sadly we have not yet adopted the principles and models as a lifestyle to verify and authenticate prevention as a model.
Here are a couple of tips for you to consider.
• In your bank account have a positive balance of $100 and up.
• Always have two bank accounts, one a reserve, the other a working account.
• Map out your plans before implementing them. Never come out with a “new” concept without minimizing bottlenecks.
• Take courses before you begin any venture and take time to set up.
• Prepare for your next job while you have one.
• Plan for retirement, keep the oil changed in the car, brush daily, eat well, etc.
Ignorance may be bliss, but sadly these and other upstream principles have too long been ignored.
A successful entrepreneur develops and acts on upstream principles, an unsuccessful one doesn’t, and once in polluted waters, wishes they had.
The Four Pillars
The 4 Pillars of H.E.R.O.’s series is presented by permission of the writers. Naturopathic Economics believes understanding this information is essential to building a strong and successful naturopathic practice.
PILLAR ONE OF FOUR: OPERATIONS
The HERO’s strategy a comprehensive business training program specifically designed for small business entrepreneurs. This strategies and curriculum utilizes universal principles of successful entrepreneurial endeavors and focuses uniquely on the functioning of a small/medium business. In order to streamline this important information, the HERO’s model is divided into four (4) primary areas:
1) Operations (designing the systems that drive the daily activities of the business),
2) Administration (establishing the “how” of those systems and financial organization of the business)
3) Marketing (generating new business and maintaining long-term clients)
4) Leadership (making the difficult decisions and strategizing solutions for the challenges that every entrepreneur will face).
Along with these four “pillars” of business, the HERO’s program provides instruction on how to approach accessing funding, tracking your successes and failures, and planning for the future.
Operation + Administration + Marketing + Leadership
(Does work) (Monitors work) (Brings in work) (Directs work)
For success to begin the entrepreneur must cultivate their skills, knowledge, and attitude in all four of these areas. Most ventures begin with a dream and hope to survive with a little luck. By adding a realistic vision and a lot of knowledge, one can beat these odds.
Assignment #1: The Four Pillars
Get a binder and divider tabs. On the cover of the binder, create a cover page with the name of your business in the center. Put your name underneath the title. If you have a logo, put it anywhere on the cover page. At the bottom of the page, write this statement of commitment.
“Everything in this binder is done for me first, and shared appropriately with others.”
Label the dividers with the following titles: Operations, Administration, Marketing, Leadership. Under Operations write “does the work,” under Administration, write “monitors the work,” under Marketing, write “brings in the work,” and under Leadership write, “directs the work.”
Once this assignment is complete, memorize the four areas. From this point on, undertake the journey of building unique tools, systems, policies, and procedures within each of these four areas. Start to place every business concept you learn into one of these four subjects. Entrepreneurial success comes with the ability in and management of all four of these main business topics.
Many business owners focus most of their energy only in the areas of their strengths and delegate their areas of weakness to experts. But, business failure is more often due to the owner’s weaknesses rather than their strengths. Becoming an expert in the basics of all areas, especially those that are inherently difficult, will reap great rewards for your business.
You do not have to master tax strategies, or the inner workings of the technology you use, but you must have a basic understanding of everything. Entrepreneurs must do things that they dislike. In order to maximize on your weaknesses, first accept them, identify the basic area they are in (leadership, operations, marketing, and administration) and attack them head on. Utilize the knowledge and skills of others to assist you.
Rather than stumbling into mistakes by not knowing enough, undertake the time and effort necessary to become an expert in your business. This preparation will ultimately pay off. A successful entrepreneur delegates responsibilities to experts rather than abdicating them because he/she ultimately understands that he/she is 100% responsible for all business activity. More knowledge and skill in all areas will minimize errors and provide greater control.
This basic overview of each area identifies five respective areas of concern. This will be a beginning for developing your skills in these topics, but there are numerous additional issues beyond the five we are going to review in this reference.
Does the work. How to sell products/services, how to order new inventory, how to answer the phones, etc. New entrepreneurs often consider this area their greatest strength.
The key word for operations is “SYSTEMS.” Every aspect of business should be systemized and procedural. Every system should be broken down into small steps with the sum of these steps resulting in the delivery of a valuable product or service. Poor operations will result in lost time and revenue. The systems you design will provide the necessary foundation for the next step in developing your business which is creating proper forms, policies and administrative tools to make those systems work. This is how work in the Operations will lead into the Administrative work.
The five concepts to understand in Operations are:
1) Flow Charts
3) KISS-“IT” systems
4) Key Result Areas-of internal and external roles
Flow charts map out the important steps in the completion of a task. Mapping will become a crucial part of designing your business systems. To develop a successful system, create a map on how to get from step 1 to the desired result. This visual tool is the first step in brainstorming procedures. Successful businesses maximize time efficiency by mapping processes that “flow.” Processes that break down into small steps derive optimal results. These firm procedures are critical to training staff and communicating with contractors, but additionally, you, as an owner will accomplish more by following a strict routine.
Even the smallest business should have an operational manual that holds the flow charts and systems procedures for all office activities. For example, a flowchart for a doctor’s single patient’s office visit might look like this.
First contact à Coming/Going to à Sitting à Office visit à Leaving the office à At home
The model shows there are 5 steps in the client visit flow chart. Each step has challenges to be addressed, and tasks/duties to be accomplished. In order to fill out this flow chart, ask yourself what these might be? What needs to happen for a patient to get to your office? Write this down start to finish and solve any problems that you identify along the way. In the Administration section, you will be asked to create any forms necessary for a client to arrive at your office-map & directions, intake forms etc. You will be judged on how smoothly your systems flow. The more mistakes you make, the more negative the judgment. By creating these flowcharts, you will ensure that mistakes are minimized and every system proceeds as efficiently as possible.
Every time you make a decision about how to do a job around the office, write it down as a system. Begin by identifying the major flowcharts around the office-doctor flowchart, opening of the day flowchart, closing flowchart, medicinary monitoring flowchart, financial flowchart etc.
Each flowchart map will create an outline of each individual system and the storyboard will monitor and measure each of the associated steps. This is the second step in developing your clinic systems. HERO’s emphasizes the importance of storyboarding every operational system and procedure, breaking them down into stages. However identifying the steps is not enough. In the process, note the potential bottleneck areas where problems and crises could affect the overall flow.
Consider these six key areas when completing your storyboard; errors & bottlenecks, time, equipment & furniture, forms, dialogue, and expected results.
Errors & bottlenecks: It is important to identify potential errors in advance. Problems in the system may slow the procedure down or stop production altogether. An awareness of the possible problems will make solutions easier to implement.
Time: Time is money. Extended time frames are one of the biggest consumer frustrations. They waste money and damage the business’ reputation. Allocate a time limit to each stage in each storyboard and then stick to that schedule.
Equipment & Furniture: Specific equipment or furniture may be required to maximize the flow of a system.
Forms: Paperwork is part of every business routine. Think about what forms will facilitate the smooth flow of each system you create. Consider how the information on the form will assist you with that system.
Dialogue: Certain systems may require that you communicate directly with a customer, contractor, or staff person. For example, raising your rates requires that you communicate with your current patients about your new fee structure. In designing your systems/storyboards, consider how you will handle this issue when it arises.
Expected Results: Before moving on to the next step in any system, the previous one must be complete. Think about and write down the expected result of each stage as a goal to be achieved. As each goal is attained, the next stage can begin smoothly.
In summary, identify your business operations that require systems, break them down into stages and then tackle each of the six issues as noted.
Storyboarding your processes utilizing the 6 measurements will provide these benefits:
1. Speed in solving problems. By storyboarding your operations, it will be simpler to identify the department, system and step which needs to be addressed to settle a business crisis. The six measurement areas will elucidate even more specifically what you need to do.
2. Improvements and adjustments. Storyboarding allows you to analyze your systems and procedures in order to improve on them. The busier your business, the more your systems will be tested. The goal is for your systems to stand up to maximum capacity. And the attitude with these systems should be “practice makes improvement, not perfect.” Never settle into a habit, the only constant should be change/improvement.
In court. If you are ever sued or taken to court, the organization that your systems and procedures provide will benefit your case. When the court sees disorganization and visible mistakes, it will assume a greater likelihood of your fault in the matter.
K.I.S.S. – Model of “IT”
“Keep It Simple Smart.” The simpler the process the smarter the system, and smarter systems will be more effective in maximizing the operations of business. The challenge of this step is to create systems that others can administer quickly and efficiently, so that you can delegate some of the management responsibilities.
The first step in creating the keep it simple smart system is to develop a system that is not personal to you or dependent on any one person. Too many systems for small enterprises are designed for the ease of the creator. This is the “I” approach to systems development. People bring out the best of any system, however the basis of each system should be as impersonal as possible.
At start up, when the owner/operator of the business does all the work, the “I” approach is easy and effective, but this approach will cause problems in a thriving business. When your phone is ringing constantly and your product/service is in high demand, your systems setup will define your success or failure. Since success is the reason for taking this risk, set up systems with the “It” model from the beginning, even when you are doing all the work.
Whether the mastermind of the system is you or a staff person, the result will be the same. The seed will be planted for potential disaster, especially in the growth phases of an enterprise. Ensure that you set up every business system with this “It” approach in mind. Call on expert advice if necessary, but don’t neglect this responsibility. When you add employees/associates to the team, teach them how to use the system. Receive their input on improvements and adjust accordingly.
In order to do create “It” systems, remove yourself from the process completely. Set up every system so that another person could perform the tasks and fulfill the expectations required in making the business flow. Successful entrepreneurs delegate responsibility.
Assignment #2: Identify the systems of your business and incorporate an “It” approach. Ensure first that the system stands alone and then incorporate people.
Key Result Areas
In the K.I.S.S. section we emphasized the importance of impersonal systems, but here we are going to discuss the importance of the people you choose to include in your business operations. The success of a business lies in its ability to foster teamwork and to bring out the best in that team. A system will only be as effective and efficient as the team members who perform each function every day.
In order to maximize the functionality of each person you incorporate into your team, we suggest that you do the same thing for every ROLE in your business that we did above for your operational SYSTEMS. Make a list of the five key result areas that each person MUST be successful at in order for the business to run smoothly. Then, consider the qualities, training and experience that are required to accomplish those key obligations.
When a person accepts a position within your business, share these expectations with them. Inform them that they are accepting the responsibilities of that role and are expected to produce the results of that position. Smaller businesses may require one person to assume more than one role and, therefore, may need to learn to wear different hats and change them accordingly. In order to maximize flow create the internal and external roles not by person but by position. If someone wears more than one hat, train that person accordingly. When each person focuses on a particular role and follows the checklist associated with this role, he/she should be able to perform the tasks of that position more effectively.
In every venture there are internal and external roles. Internal roles are tasks done within the business itself, such as bookkeeping, decision making, marketing, filing, reception, etc. External roles are tasks accomplished outside the business, such as bank management, accounting, legal, insurance, vendors, etc.
Assignment #3: Think about the key result areas that must be completed in order for the business to be successful for both your internal and your external roles. Place these tasks in order of importance from 1 –5. Use them to choose the right people. Then, have everyone agree upon them at the start of the relationship. Now, you will have critical areas on which you can evaluate, train, and assist your people to more effectively contribute to your team.
Assignment #4: Create the internal and external roles of your venture. Identify 3-5 tasks and develop the training material to ensure areas are addressed properly.
Organize – Checklist, Filing, Areas
Effective business operations require excellent organization so being methodical is especially important when two systems/flowcharts overlap with each other (ie: Client visit ending/questions being answered and payment for service). Most mistakes are made at this intersection of two systems.
To ensure that all steps of both systems are accomplished, make checklists. Some individual systems will be so critical or complex that they require their own checklist, such as closing the office at the end of the day or the financial duties involved in paying your associates. These checklists should not be confused with key result tasks. Key result tasks refer to your expectations of the people involved in your business, checklists will make every system into a procedure. A checklist will help you do the same steps in the same order every time and this procedural approach will make sure that you do not make mistakes in the process.
Each checklist should be broken down into three separate areas: Beginning, During and End. Two of these can be planned for, the beginning and end, but while doing the work any problem could arise, so your people must be prepared to deal with any curveball during the workday. Checklists are useful for training staff and for double checking someone’s work.
Maintaining a filing system that works is a major challenge for most small businesses. In the HERO’s courses, we teach a model to manage the “paper monster” by organizing your paperwork into four areas: Correspondence –information pertinent to the running of a business, Financial – audit trail, Personnel – critical information on staff and subcontractors, Forms & Policies – company approved forms and rules & regulations.
Every workspace in your office should have an explicit purpose and all furniture and equipment should be placed strategically to facilitate this objective. Misplaced furniture or equipment can add chaos in the functioning of your business. The physical layout of a workshop, storage space, office can be as important as the actual business you conduct. So, plan out your areas, define them and design them to fulfill their purpose.
Assignment #5: Lay out your business process, develop checklists and workspaces that maximize productivity, ensures quality and incorporates safety.
PILLAR TWO OF FOUR: ADMINISTRATION
Monitors the work. A large part of your administrative time will be spent handling your finances, but the administration of your business also includes examining how your operational systems are being executed and all the paperwork involved in managing them.
We encourage our clients to incorporate a dynamic external team, but the primary administrative tasks and duties must be completed internally. Abdicating these critical and important responsibilities to others will not free you up, but instead could entangle and frustrate. Accountants can help you by interpreting tax law for your business and by providing excellent advice, but they cannot run your business.
The five critical internal administrative concepts are:
1. Manage Financial Statements
2. Internal Bookkeeping
3. Listen to the Stories
4. 365 Day Manager
5. Crisis & Challenge Management
Manage Financial Statements
Financial statements can cause frustration and misunderstanding however, an entrepreneur’s financial life will be measured upon how well they manage these documents. The Balance Sheet and Income Statement tell you how the business is performing and why. While some courses teach you how to read and interpret financial statements, the HERO’s program teaches you how to read, interpret and manage them.
In administration, knowing the categories on your financial statements is not enough, it is critical that you learn the basics in managing them.
Cash in Bank: Always maintain a positive bank balance. Rather than allowing your account drain to $0, kick in your crisis management plans when your balance reaches $1000. This approach promotes a pro-active crisis management plan. In addition, we recommend that you have two bank accounts, a working account and a reserve account. The working account is for your everyday use, the reserve account is for holding money temporarily until you submit your tax payments.
Draw: Manage your draws as if you were on payroll by putting sufficient funds aside in the second bank account to pay the government quarterly. Make sure these funds are set aside before taking money for yourself.
Sales: Separate your sales income from your services income. Doing so will allow you to analyze your income streams.
Business Meals: Budget accordingly. Whenever you take someone out for a business meal, document the meeting on the back of the receipt. Business meals are only 50% deductible. Remember that the full amount cannot be expensed and adjust your tax strategy accordingly.
Net Income: The bottom line of the statement of profit and loss. Taxes are paid based on the figure on this line. Learn to manage your financial statements, maximizing your tax position and ensuring your taxes are set aside. Discuss your year ending financial position with your accountant in the ninth month of your fiscal year so you will know your tax position and be able to map out strategies for the final three months to make the most of your tax position.
We are making the point that it is not enough for you to know the financial situation and statements that affect you and your venture. You have to undertake the challenge involved in managing them. As an entrepreneur, you must manage your financial state, not quarterly, not once year at tax time, but each and every day.
Assignment #6: Identify the categories on the Balance Sheet and Income Statement that affect your business. Understand and develop a management policy to maximize the benefits of each account.
Every small business should keep an internal set of books, meaning we believe every new entrepreneur should do their own bookkeeping. Administrate your businesses 365 days a year. Do not wait for your bookkeeper or accountant to tell you how your business is doing financially.
Manage the daily financial affairs of your company and use external experts to ensure accuracy, make recommendations and assist when necessary. But, do not to count on them to run the business for you. Do not relinquish so much responsibility in this area that you find yourself blaming financial advisers for your mistakes. Learn to manage your own financial situation.
Every new entrepreneur should do their own books for four reasons.
1) Small businesses usually do not complete many transactions per week. If organized properly, one or two hours per week should suffice to manage your financial transactions. Thirty minutes each day will be enough for most of the administrative duties.
2) You will be the one having to make critical decisions and judgments. If you set them up, they will speak your language. Having to ask someone else to explain your position in a crisis is a waste of time.
3) You cannot change history. Third party experts will not keep up to date on your business. Discovering a financial situation three months later will not allow you to adjust quickly enough. You need to stay on top of your financial information.
4) Accept responsibility. If something goes wrong, face the truth and deal with it. Recognize that it is your problem 100% and cannot be blamed on anyone else
Our administrative motto is: Tackle the challenges of today and plan for the gifts of tomorrow by understanding the lessons of yesterday.
In a new binder place 12 dividers (for each month) and set the categories yourself and decide how you want to organize and understand the expense and income accounts. In our HERO’s seminar, we provide a template chart of accounts, but you will decide which are important to you and may even add a few extras that you feel are important. Once complete, YOUR books will be set up with the accounts YOU need to monitor. They will produce financial statements the way you understand them. Once a month, your accounting software can easily produce these reports. The binder should include the following documents.
1) Balance Sheet and Statement of Profit & Loss
2) Cash flow. Financial statements identify the activities of the month, monies spent, received and owed. Financial statements will provide lots of information, but cash flow tracks all the monies deposited from every source and all the expenses paid. Your cash flow will tell you how much real money you made in any period of time. Some months losses will occur. However, if you suffer a negative cash flow several months in a row, it will seriously impact your present and future income streams. Every dollar lost today, means more that must be generated tomorrow. Strictly monitor your cash flow.
3) Budget vs. Actual: Budgeting will be your best financial communication tool. Budgeting allows you to measure your performance. A budget is an estimated, but realistic guess at future expenditures and it’s not difficult. List your expense categories and place a realistic figure beside each. Each month calculate your income and expenses and at the end of the month after put the actual figures beside your guesses. Next, start asking questions about the discrepancies. The answers you find will lead to adjustments, either in how you budget or how you spend. We recommend that you not use your accounting software for this because it requires 100% attention and doing it by hand will encourage you to concentrate more.
4) Income Stat Form: Create a form that will allow you to break down your income into multiple streams. The purpose of this is to determine where your income is coming from. Every venture has multiple areas of income and this will provide critical information on what areas of the business are bringing income in and which areas need attention or elimination.
5) Reconciliation Statements: Reconcile your bank account statements and credit card statements every month so you can note which deposits and checks have cleared your bank account. No transaction is complete until it clears the bank and certain transactions such as bank charges and interest income will only appear on the bank statement and need to be accounted for. Reconciling also produces audit trail information for accountants and auditors. Your accounting software will produce this report.
6) Graphs & percentages: Often, numbers will not communicate as well as percentages and graphs. Most accounting software can produce graphs and percentage reports.
These six reports will form the backbone of your administrative department. Most can be completed via your computer software. Each year file a copy of your income tax return and year ending information with all twelve months of information and store them in case of future audits. This practice will create a financial history of your business.
Assignment #7: Create the financial binder, the forms to use and do the six reports.
Listening to the Stories
What are financial statements? So much emphasis is placed on their importance. Companies live and die based on the information contained on them, but what do they represent? The truth is that they mean nothing without knowing the stories behind them.
If a business has sales of $10,000 in one month and $6,000 in a second, without any further information you might think the first month was a “better month.” But, if during the second month you took two weeks off for a vacation, this fact changes the analysis of these figures. Numbers are representation of events that have happened, a reflection of what the business is doing. So, you cannot know what they mean or make suggestions about improvements without knowing the associated story.
A “business diary” is as critical to your administration as these financial statements and reports. The stories define whether current strategies are working or failing. Stories provide clues as to which areas of your business need attention. Without the stories, numbers are just numbers. If you look, you will find a reason why you are busy today, and were slow yesterday. If you document important events each day, you will find important insights into your business’ activities. Keep if brief and to the point. Place this information into the financial binder according to the month, so that your stories can provide greater clarity about the parallel financial information.
365 Day Manager
Businesses run 365 days a year, not quarterly or annually. Activities happen every day, and attention to detail is a daily process. Administration is the most likely area to cause business failures because it does not get enough attention everyday. Instead, it is often pushed aside for more “important” and less stressful tasks.
You can increase your internal control by developing guidelines (policies and procedures) within specific areas that require administration management. They are:
1) Personnel: Staff can be the most challenging area of business to manage because of the human factor. People are unique assets, but energy is required in bringing out the best from your team and the management of people will not be as predictable as the management of your other business resources. The people who work for you and with you do so for their own reasons and benefit, not yours. Your employees will have different priorities than you do and money is important so, make these interactions win/win so that you develop company loyalty and a mutually beneficial relationship.
2) Equipment: Material assets should either make money or save money. Never purchase a piece of equipment without first mapping out how it will generate or save money, how it will impact the business operations and how it will perform within the other business activities. We call this a cost analysis and implementation plan. Also, to ensure maximum return on any investment, create a maintenance schedule and log to guarantee optimum performance, especially in busy times.
3) Facility: Keep the facilities well maintained and ready to be sold in an instant if necessary. Your facility should not degrade over time if properly maintained each day. This is an issue of professionalism and portrays to clients that you take pride in your venture.
4) Financial: Administrators must question and challenge each expenditure, every decision involving money and must be approached skeptically. If you WANT something, force your desires to talk your logical brain into it. Your reason must prevail over your dreams.
5) Business: Every business is governed by rules and regulations. From leasing to marketing, and purchasing, policies must be created to ensure that knowledge is power. A 365-day manager takes control of all issues affecting the business by understanding and working with them.
Assignment #8: Create a policies and procedures manual and write governing principles for your business.
Crises & Challenge Management – Developing “What If” Scenarios
Your business will encounter continuous challenges until the day that you close. Our program teaches that these obstacles can be the greatest gifts your business receives. Through the solutions you generate, your business will grow and transform. But, changing this perspective does not alter the difficulty in any way. Problems come in two forms, challenges and crises.
Most crises begin as challenges, and escalate through avoidance. Dealing with the four previous components of Administration and the rest of the pillars will prepare you and allow for administrators to deal with more challenges than crises.
Each require a different strategy. In a challenge situation, you have time to reflect and then act. In a crisis situation, you have to act and then reflect. The goal is to minimize crises and resolve challenges as soon as they appear.
“What if” strategies should be part of every administrators thinking and approach. Developing plans to deal with future setbacks is a critical component of managing your business. What if the client doesn’t pay, what if the owner becomes sick, what if the equipment breaks down, what if customers don’t come, what if someone quits? In addition, consider what if you get the contract, what if demand is high and you need more material, what if new hires are required, what if the business grows too fast? Crisis and challenges are not always the result of negative. Prepare for problems caused by too much success as well.
By doing this, you will adopt the principle of prevention. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Mapping out “what if’s” provides an administrator the opportunity and ability to effectively deal with all the challenges of the future.
Assignment #9: Develop “what if” scenarios for all pillars and create action and reaction plans.
PILLAR THREE OF FOUR: MARKETING
Generates the work. The best laid entrepreneurial plans are useless without a sound marketing plan. Great operations, administration and leadership will still fail without clients. Most guidebooks for the new entrepreneur focus on marketing for good reason because it is the area that brings work into the business. Here we will address the foundation for your marketing.
The five important marketing concepts are:
2) Initial Expectations, Experience, Lasting Impressions
3) Compliment the Community
We call them “customers,” in accounting they are “income streams,” as employees they are called “cost of sales.” But none of these recognize what “it” is that really creates our success. We have, for the most part, forgotten the concept of humanity in business. In order to successfully build a marketing plan, the human element must be front and center. Every successful marketing plan will acknowledge the truth of following statement.
A human being reaches into their wallets, purses, bank accounts to pay for goods and services. In order to succeed, we must remember to humanize our marketing strategies.
Most business plans lay out the scientific components of a market area, such as demographics, population segments, etc. but few to none complete a community profile or assess the reasons why a particular person in that community will be likely to want this product or service. Humanity in a marketing plan is the cement that holds it together.
People generally make decisions based on intangible factors such as their emotions, the senses, and current trends. Successful marketing strategies must take these into consideration. This is the reason why branding is so successful.
In human marketing strategies, the heart (emotional reasons for buying) should balance the mind (logical reasons for buying). Both are important and both must be addressed.
Your business will hopefully provide a product or service that offers a solution to a human problem (Logic). If you position yourself emotionally to best provide this product or service, you will be extremely successful (Heart).
Assignment #10: Create a poster that will remind you not to forget the human aspect of your venture. It might include a picture of someone or a group of people.
Initial expectations, Experience, Lasting impressions
A) Initial Expectations
Every person who walks through your door has initial expectations of you, your product, and your business. The person wants or needs a solution to a problem. Do not assume you know what their expectations of you are. Instead, ask and incorporate the answers into your business strategies. One easy way to accomplish this in the health care field is to ask on your intake form for new patients to list three expectations of you. As long as they are realistic, Your focus will, then, be on delivering them.
Advertising will inform people of the services and products you provide and gives the opportunity to set yourself apart – such as best price or exceptional customer service. These statements create the “initial expectations” one has when dealing with the business team.
Imagine standing in front of a restaurant looking at the menu displayed on the window. While reviewing the menu, a stranger walks by and says, “I wouldn’t go in there, the service is lousy.” Learn this important business principle.
“If someone likes you, they will tell 3 others.. If they dislike you, they will tell 300.”
People will judge you based on the experience they have during their interaction with your business. From the first moment, you will be measured. Often these judgments will be based upon the promises you made in your advertising. Act accordingly. If you claim a benefit of investing in your venture, then deliver it. Develop the necessary systems to provide your customers with the experience they want, otherwise 300 people will hear about it.
C) Lasting Impressions:
If an entrepreneur correctly identifies initial expectations and delivers a positive experience, chances are high that the client’s lasting impression will be extremely positive. This enduring impression is of the utmost importance. A person window-shopping may not buy anything, but may refer a friend or colleague or return another time to do business with you. Therefore, every interaction should leave a positive impression.
When establishing a marketing strategy, consider what is required to meet your customer’s initial expectations, deliver a beneficial experience and ensure a positive lasting impression.
Assignment #11: Draw a map and then create a list of tactics to accomplish each of the three
NEEDS vs WANTS
Need – what a person desires but will not necessarily commit to.
Want – what a person will commit to.
In every community, the needs and wants are different. This balance will depend on trends, economic stability, novelty of your product, etc. Your challenge will be to develop a clear understanding of whether your product/service fills a want or a need of the community.
In marketing, entrepreneurs often position their product or service as filling a “need.” But, regardless of the perceived need, if people do not want the service the business’ chances of surviving are slim. Most entrepreneurs rely on their own perspective when assessing wants or needs. Instead, create a “commitment” protocol, a strategy that will help you determine whether or not people are willing to commit to your venture.
Once you understand whether your venture satisfies a want or serves a need, your positioning strategy will become clearer.
Assignment #12: Create a list of questions and a protocol that will provide a clearer understanding of whether your business fulfills a want or need in your area.
Everyone wishes to position their venture uniquely in their community. Everyone believes their venture to be different, offering some aspect of a service that others have missed, yet, when challenged on their “uniqueness,” most entrepreneurs cite the same issues such as customer service, quality workmanship, pricing, aftercare service, etc. What each states is not so different. Without addressing this matter, most marketing strategies miss a critical point.
The greatest North American pastime is COMPLAINING. In this understanding exists a clue. Listening to complaints is crucial to successful marketing campaigns. These complaints provide critical humanistic information about the mindset of a community. It notifies us about the negative experiences people are having. In the movie Field of Dreams the line, “Build it and they shall come,” offers great wisdom in regard to this subject. In business, we have a choice, we can either compliment the mindset by confirming the negatives being delivered by others, or we can position ourselves uniquely by doing the “opposite.”
Doing the opposite means positioning your venture so that it does not compliment the negative mindset of the community or profession you are in. Look at the health care profession, people complain continually about it. If you want to be successful in this profession, position your practice to do the opposite.
To discover what people are complaining about, do a “frustration survey.” We believe these surveys are the best way of finding out what people think. It is a simple, but powerful tool.
Rather than provide a list of predetermined questions, though, come with a blank piece of paper. Choose a busy location where strangers will be accessible and ask what frustrates them about your industry. As you gather answers, write them down. Limit yourself to 10 responses. When more than one person gives the same answer, make a check mark beside the number. Each additional response to a particular frustration emphasizes the importance of that complaint! Once the survey is completed, you will have a powerful tool with which to focus your marketing strategies.
Build your venture to do the opposite. And if the opposite is impossible, then develop strategies that will lessen the negative impact of that complaint.
Any business that wishes to be different should engage in this survey at least twice a year. In simple terms, if your venture does not create a complaint, people will let others know. The most successful marketing will be word of mouth referrals.
Assignment #13: Create a frustration survey form so that you can begin listening to what people complain about. Utilize it once or twice a year.
The final, and perhaps the most important, humanistic marketing principle involves creating a venture that nurtures trust. In this day and age when people are leery about “experts” in all fields and when “sales” are not really sales, an entrepreneur has to work harder than ever to establish trust.
Trust is an important part of every salesperson’s strategy. From first contact to lasting impressions, developing trust is critical. So, how does one build trust? The answer lies in the word itself. Successful enterprises are built on solid structural foundations, simplified systems and trust. Trust likely being the most critical. Make this pledge, “In T.R.U.S.T. I will build my business.”
Truth. It is practically impossible to develop trust without a commitment to the truth. Be as honest as you can and expect the people you deal with to return the favor. If a client is not truthful with you, consider whether or not you want them as a future customer.
Respect. Mutual respect for the people you deal with will often lead to more success than being liked personally. Of course both are important, but integrity and respect is fundamental to profitable business dealings. With your customers, respect means saying acknowledging their presence, listening to their needs, and looking them in the eye. With your staff, it means saying please and thank you, and giving clear instructions. The 3 “C’s” which provide the foundation for respect are: caring, compassion and concern.
Understand. It is important to listen to the needs and wants of your customers and, then, to confirm that you clearly understand their expectations. However, it is also important that your clients understand your business, your role. Misunderstandings about what you offer will create confusion, frustration and negative word of mouth publicity. If you give detailed and clear explanations, you will have fewer of these problems. So, communication in both directions will facilitate successful business relationships.
Special. We each want to feel important, proud, loved, and cared about. We also want to feel that what we do makes a difference. When it comes to making someone feel special, all you have to do is to remember the golden rule: “Treat others the way you wish to be treated.”
Every marketing strategy should incorporate how people should be treated to make them feel special. This might include a thank you, a follow up call, a gift, a good bye or a hello. It doesn’t take much to make someone feel good. By this point, you know your industry, you know the emotions associated with frustrated clients. Create your own golden rule checklist so when people interact with your business they leave feeling special.
Teach. The perception that if a customer is given too much information they won’t need your services is false. Too many small business entrepreneurs refuse to educate their customers about their area of expertise. But, you need to realize that consumers will not do a job themselves just because they know how. Most successful companies, including Home Depot and IBM have adopted the opinion that an “educated consumer is a better paying customer.”
As a business strategy, ignorance may have worked in the past, but in today’s market, knowledge is key. Education will give your clients an understanding of what you doing or selling so that they will be able to better explain your product and services to others.
In the spirit of this, create a set of educational material to give out to potential and current clients as a “gift.” Not sales material that promotes the highlights of a product and service, educational material that describes how to properly utilize a product or service.
Every business should create an educational strategy as part of their marketing plan. Knowledge is a gift, teaching shares that gift. And the more you share that gift, the greater your chances to succeed.
Assignment #14: Create a marketing brainstorming form. For every new marketing strategy, consider how to address the five acronyms in T.R.U.S.T.
PILLAR FOUR OF FOUR: LEADERSHIP
Leadership directs the work. The moment you decide to open a new business, you become an owner. Every enterprise requires sound leadership and the strength of an owner’s skills, attitude and knowledge will reduce mistakes. The five pertinent leadership issues are:
1) Being a Student of Business
2) Networking—developing a Cycle of Influence
5) Develop a living plan
Being a Student of Business
No matter what profession you are in, you are in the business of that profession. Many people hold to the belief that if they are a chiropractor, building contractor, lawyer, accountant, or day care provider all that is required for clientele to come is to be the “best.” If this were true, everyone would enjoy the same level of success. Instead, the approach should be that you are in the business of chiropractic, contracting, law, accounting or day care. The first important step is to become a student of that field and understand all aspects of it as much as possible. The more you know about the leadership, administration, operation and marketing of your chosen field, the greater your chances are to succeed.
Entrepreneurial ignorance is a nightmare, not bliss. Knowledge is powerful and helps you make better decisions. With this understand, your time and energy will have to be directed towards the business of your chosen profession. Rather than continuing to upgrade your skills in the field, take this opportunity to increase your knowledge of business concerns.
Learn the rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts, benefits and liability issues, licensure laws and conditions of your specific discipline as these can undermine the success of your venture.
Assignment #15: Identify areas of your business in which you need information, start gathering it by meeting with mentors and teachers who can walk you through these areas and provide you with insight.
Networking – Develop a Circle of Influence.
The HERO’s principles alleviate many of the concerns associated with being an entrepreneur but you will still encounter weaknesses in your business. Revealing your weaknesses in order to ask for help will prove to be one of your greatest entrepreneurial assets. Humans excel at helping. In fact, the purpose of any business venture is to provide a service/product that alleviates a problem for someone else. An entrepreneur goes into business to help.
“In the world, there those that can and those that cannot. Business is the forum that brings the two together.”
Part of working smart is the ability to ask for help pro-actively and not after you need it. The key is to gather the right people around you. Henry Ford best summarized business success when he stated the best model of entrepreneurial success is to surround yourself with people smarter than you. Choose your network carefully then, utilize their unique talents wisely.
Incorporate a team of people that can assist you in the growth of your venture. Every venture can succeed with a strong circle of influence.
Networking should become a part of your entrepreneurial lifestyle however; limit your circle of influence to a select number of people. “Too many cooks in the kitchen” could not be truer of business ventures/decisions. Networking allows you to collect allies and peers who you can assist and will assist you in building a successful enterprise. We recommend that our clients create a “business group” and commit to meeting regularly to map out strategies and complete assignments.
Assignment #16: Create a HERO’s group of your own. Keep the number below 5. Pledge to helping each other build the foundation, not just to referring clients back and forth. Honor your commitment by scheduling your meetings as a part of your week. This Business Coach Reference manual is filled with assignments. Share the work necessary to complete them.
All communication is “interpretational.” What we say may not be what you think you heard. The primary problem with communication for most entrepreneurs stems around their passion for the venture. Passion can blind you.
Entrepreneurs need to be great “speakers” about their venture. If you are shy, your vision could be in serious jeopardy. Entrepreneurs should love the opportunity to share the benefits of their venture with anyone willing to listen. However, our passion to inform others about what we are offering cannot overshadow the other aspect of communication – LISTENING.
In business, the importance of complimenting the mindset of a community cannot be overstated. In order to effectively position your business, you must compliment what people are currently thinking, popular trends, local economics, political and social issues etc. Each has an impact on how and what a person purchases. In order to do this, listen to your surroundings. This approach involves asking lots of questions before you present new information. Be curious. Do not jump to any conclusions about what your community thinks about a certain topic.
There is a time to speak and a time to listen. You will often derive more benefits from listening first and speaking second. A venture must seize its window of opportunity and you will discover when that time is by listening to the “clues” provided by your community. The ability to patiently listen and gather information is a critical Leadership skill. Speaking out about what you have to offer is the Marketing skill. A good balance of the two will lead to success.
A profitable venture must be flexible enough to hear what the community has to say and to continually adapt to it.
Assignment #17: Keep up with community events. Join local groups. Become part of the community. Read the local and national newspapers. Develop a “clues” journal in which you track events that may impact your venture, either now or in the future.
“The mind is a terrible thing to waste.” But, for an entrepreneur the body is too. Your health is critical to the future success of your enterprise. The health of the business owner is seldom addressed because the focus is on strategies to develop the mind. Doing the work to achieve your own health potential should be part of your commitment to success.
Rather than ascribe to the entrepreneurial model of long hours, little sleep and high stress, remember to eat well, find time for exercise and schedule breaks to manage your stress.
As part of your circle of influence, include a health team. Commit time towards caring for your health because time is money. In order to maximize your time, you must have a healthy body. Illness will cost your business dearly. Your clients will have no choice but to go elsewhere.
If you are serious about being an entrepreneur, then be serious about your physical health. Commit to preventative appointments with your health team to ensure maximum physical ability to match your maximum mental abilities.
Assignment #18: Get a complete physical, see a nutritionist, or go to the gym. Create a proactive health plan to manage your stress.
Create a Living Plan
A living plan is different from a business plan. In the process of building a successful venture, these are two distinctive steps. The business plan starts a venture. It is part of the “starting smart” process. Once the business begins, you will need a second plan, the “running right” process. A living plan encompasses both.
Starting smart plans are written when financing is required to go forward with a business endeavor. It focuses heavily on human information and scientific research that prove the idea can work – 50-60 pages of information that will convince someone to fund the project. Doing so ensures a venture will Start Smart. But, make your business plan useful to you by writing it FOR you first. The content should serve a purpose in the start up of your business, not just to attain a loan. In addition, pay attention to grammar, formatting and other details as this will leave a lasting impression with anyone who reads it.
So, then, what do you do once the plan is approved? You get the funding, but how will you go forward to run the venture? How are you going to manage the finances, access new clientele, supervise staff, manage growth, handle day to day crises, pay taxes, manage inventory etc. Over-emphasizing the business plan is a critical mistake as it does not address the answers to any of these questions.
Running right is the second and more critical aspect of any business. The running right plan outlines the tools required to manage the four pillars once the business starts. It focuses on systems and strategies to maximize operations, administration, marketing and administration.
Financial advisors often state that the business plan is a “vision.” In the business plan, the goal is to make your best guess about the future of your venture based on gathered research and information. Very few businesses replicate those predictions exactly.
However, without a running right model to follow the starting right plan, you will have only half of a successful entrepreneurial equation. Completing both appreciates the two as equal components of the entrepreneurial journey.
The simple equation for success is:
Start Smart + Run Right = Success
The living plan encompasses both.
Assignment# 19: Create two checklists. One that identifies what is required for a starting smart plan and a second that lists what is required for a running right plan.
We have covered several concepts in four main areas and suggested several critical assignments. The homework in this guide is only a fraction of what we will recommend, and what you will need to do, to start and run a successful project. Businesses are failing at higher rates every year because entrepreneurs are not solidifying the foundation of their enterprises with strong pillars.
Many “dream” of success but are not willing to “work” for it. An entrepreneur must undertake the necessary time to build a successful model. Most people starting a new business do so for two reasons – to make money and ultimately to do more of the things they love to do. Money is important, but spending time enjoying life is more essential.
Everyone has personal passions including reading, family, biking, singing, traveling etc. What truly motivates people is their passion, not running a business. The ultimate goal is outside of the business. This is very important to understand. Why else would any entrepreneur undertake the overwhelming challenge of establishing the 4 pillars?
The best way to free yourself for the things you love is to build a strong foundation in operations, administration, marketing and leadership. It will take time and commitment, but the investment will pay rewards in the success of your business and fewer time wasting hassles.
Statistics show that more and more people are undertaking the challenge of starting a new business. It is an exciting time. But statistics also demonstrate that many fail and few survive. And just as the beginning is energizing, the end can be crushing. A thriving economy will result from strong businesses.
Something is missing in the education of entrepreneurs, the foundation. Twenty years of research and discussions with experts have gone into this model. We have been honored to have the gifts shared with us and it is an equal honor to share them with you. It takes courage to make a difference. Have the courage, take the time and build your venture from the foundation up. There are no guarantees in business, but this preparation will give you the best chances.
In the HERO’s seminar series and one on one coaching, we offer you the opportunity to learn how to successfully set up and administer your business. We encourage you to attend these business courses and get a business coach as they will reinforce the assignments which have been outlined in this manual and provide you with multiple other constructive projects.
We wish you limitless future success.
The HERO’s team, `
Andre Belanger –Dr. Ellen Lewis – Cheryl Cunningham – Dr. Jeff Lee