THE KISS PRINCIPLE IN MICROBUSINESS

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THE K.I.S.S. PRINCIPLE

IN
MICROBUSINESS

HOW TO PLAN AND START MY OWN

By Yves J. Bouchard

 

FOREWORD


WHY A BOOK ON MICROBUSINESS?


Of the hundreds of books already published on how to plan a business, how to start one, how to run or grow a business and how to manage all or part of a business, very few have taken a simple and basic approach, one that anyone can use, without the need for much business knowledge, assumed or implicit. This book is about all the basics required. That anyone interested, with some personal work, can use it to plan and start a microbusiness. All one needs is a working knowledge of the three Rís (Reading, ' Riting and 'Rithmetic ) and the will and drive to do the work suggested in this book.


This work is presented in bitesized chapters and each chapter is a building block that summarizes information. In turn, these same building blocks can be used later, this saves the entrepreneur from wasting time and energy in duplicating efforts, for work already done. This is a simple and efficient method of progressing toward the reader's goal and it preserves information gathered for future use, once the microbusiness is started.


My personal experience as a small business consultant has convinced me that there is a need for this type of information, especially how to plan a microbusiness, presented in such a way, that even the novice in business can understand what to do, how to do it and why.


Throughout my consulting career, several reasons for not starting a business, have become apparent. I feel that something must be done and this book is my attempt to do so. These reasons can be summarized as follows: Every week, as a practising consultant to small business, I received at least one phone call or visit from a hopeful entrepreneur, asking me how to start a business. This was only at my office, I can guess that other consultants receive such calls all over North America. There is a real need out there. My experience and, questions to these hopeful entrepreneurs have confirmed that most people with business ideas have not had the opportunity to attend business schools. Had they attended business courses or seminars, they would have gained little from them, because these are too general or they assume a level of business learning beyond the level of those to whom this book is directed. All those who have a business idea, should be allowed to test their idea and develop it themselves, without having to rely on outside opinions, most of which tend to be negative.

Business schools tend to favour larger business entities, to stifle entrepreneurship while developing management of large businesses and, as a result, generally ignore microbusiness. The government's own statistics demonstrate that the largest creation of new jobs comes from small business, and largely without aid or subsidies. This is much cheaper for the taxpayer, you and me. Because of the orientation of business schools, business in all its aspects has grown so complex that it tends to discourage, rather than encourage small entrepreneurs. Business has become almost mystical, reserved for the initiated.

I strongly disagree with this thinking and have attempted to use the K.I.S.S. Principle (Keep It Small and Simple) to introduce the reader to business planning. I have attempted to do so, without oversimplifying. I have used a logical, step by step and simple method of planning a Microbusiness. This, hopefully, will provide the practitioner an orderly and methodical way of looking at his dream and transforming it into reality. It will also provide a framework to test his ideas, each step of the way, allowing for change, improvements and, at worst, to abandon his idea, if it proves impossible. In the book, I have generally avoided using examples of success stories and, and when necessary, these have been kept brief and used to make or clarify a point. This is because I believe that the potential entrepreneur is mostly concerned with his own success, as, regardless of examples, he will have to conceive, plan, start and run his own microbusiness, in his own way, unique in the whole world. This is so true, that two successful businessmen in the same business, if asked about their success, will have two very different stories to tell. According to my belief, I have attempted to simplify concepts, as well as methods, while outlining, as completely as possible, the basics of planning and starting a microbusiness, I have framed each step of preparatory work in such a way that, the user will be able to do most of the work himself, with as little help from outside as possible, except in the case of legal, accounting or banking. These specialized fields will be recommended as consultants, as the need arises, at each specific stage. I have also structured this book and the exercises contained within each step, to be reusable further on, thus avoiding duplication of effort.

The "Sweat Equity" put forth by the future entrepreneur, in thinking through and planning his microbusiness, is the most important capital he will bring to the business. The knowledge and insights he will accumulate in the process, will help his understanding of business in general and of his own business in particular. As business is an ongoing learning process, the logical gathering of information, the facing of oneself with difficult questions and the method of approaching problems thus developed, will form the basis of future understanding, once the business is running.

If the foregoing scares the reader, it should not, as learning of any kind, is acquired step by step, and this is what we will be doing here. Furthermore, it might prove that the main benefit of running your own microbusiness is the learning. More than independence or money, learning may turn out to be the most fun.

Finally, I have endeavoured to remain neutral between businesses founded on products (manufacturing), commerce (distribution) or services (knowledge or skills) . The approach I am demonstrating in this book applies to all three types of microbusiness. If throughout the book, I seem, at some point, to favour or insist on one type of business more than others, this is because, at that particular step, there are important differences to examine.
 

Content

CHAPTER 1                                 

THE KISS PRINCIPLE, MICROBUSINESS AND I

CHAPTER 2                                 

MY BUSINESS IDEA

WORKSHEET 1: MY IDEA:DESCRIPTION

CHAPTER 3                                

AM I AN ENTREPRENEUR?

WORKSHEET 2:SELF TESTING                         

CHAPTER 4                         

HOW ABOUT MY OTHER STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?

WORKSHEET 3A HARD LOOK AT MYSELF AND MY FAMILY   

 

CHAPTER 5

MARKETING, MY AREA, MY COMPETITORS

WORKSHEET 4 - MY IDEA, GEOGRAPHY AND COMPETITORS                      

CHAPTER 6

MARKETING: MY CUSTOMER

WORKSHEET 5 - THE PROFILE OF MY CUSTOMERS                  

CHAPTER 7                                

MARKETING: HOW MANY CLIENTS?

WORKSHEET 6 - THE SIZE OF MY

MARKET

 

CHAPTER 8

MARKETING: WHERE TO LOCATE MY BUSINESS?

WORKSHEET 7-MY BUSINESS: LOCATIONS AVAILABLE       

WORKSHEET 8-MY CHOICE OF LOCATION vs COMPETITORS

CHAPTER 9

GOALS INSTEAD OF DREAMS!

 

WORKSHEET 9-MY OBJECTIVES

 

CHAPTER 10

HOW WILL MY BUSINESS BE

ORGANIZED? 

WORKSHEET 10-BUYING MY OWN BUSINESS       

WORKSHEET 11-BUYING A

FRANCHISE

 

 CHAPTER 11

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL NEEDS OF

MY BUSINESS?

WORKSHEET 12-CHECKLIST:THE NEEDS OF MY NEW BUSINESS

 

CHAPTER 12

FINANCE: HOW WILL I PAY FOR ALL THIS?

 

WORKSHEET 13 - THE COSTS OF STARTING AND RUNNING MY BUSINESS 

 

WORKSHEET 14 - THE COSTS OF BUYING AND RUNNING MY BUSINESS  
 

WORKSHEET 15 - THE COSTS OF BUYING MY NEW FRANCHISE

 

 WORKSHEET 16 - SOURCE AND APPLICATION OF  FUNDS-NAME OF MY BUSINESS                                       
 WORKSHEET 17 - PROFIT AND LOSS FORECAST  

 

CHAPTER 13                                  

FINANCE: WORKING CAPITAL AND CASH

FLOW

WORKSHEET 18 - CASH FLOW STATEMENT    

 

CHAPTER 14                             

TESTING... TESTING! MY GOALS

WORKSHEET 19 -PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT     

CHAPTER 15


PROTECTION, PROMOTION AND

CONTROL

 

CHAPTER 16 

        

WHO WILL RUN MY BUSINESS?              

 

CHAPTER 17         

RECAP AND REVIEW

WORKSHEET 20.A LIST OF "MUST ANSWER" QUESTIONS

 

CHAPTER 18                    

MY BUSINESS... GO!

 

CHAPTER 19  

 

TO RUN MY BUSINESS WELL (what to do and not do)

 

                      

CHAPTER 20

 

I AM SUCCEEDING - MY NEW CHALLENGES

 

CONCLUSION 

                                 

GLOSSARY