sharing small pieces of rocks or jewels I find on the way

Training on Export Marketing Plan

I attended a training by CBI where they taught us on Export Marketing Plan. However, it was more like Strategic Planning. Here is a picture with the trainer Fred and Peter, in the middle Mohiuddin (our business partner) and me.

Workcation concept

I really like these two guys from their online presence – Neville and Noah. They recently visited Thailand with a concept called Workcation and posted a nice article. I want to read the article in future, so storing it here ;)

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, let me ask you one simple question – do not delude yourself, but can you compete against someone like me?

Read Quote of Ching Ho’s answer to Money: How did you make your first million dollars? on Quora

I recently came across this Quora post by Ching Ho. Now a days, many people want to start a business and this is one of the nicest advice I have come across.

Over the years of reading in entrepreneurship and being a small entrepreneur myself, I have come to realize something which very much aligns with Ching Ho’s post. I am no super star champion like him, but while walking down that road I faced those issues to some extent. So, wanted to share with everybody (and keep for myself as well for guidance for me :))

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

If you’re leading a startup business with potential for high growth, one of the most valuable things you should do early on is to set up an advisory board. Scaling an enterprise is hard work, and you only stand to benefit from drawing on perspectives, experience, and networks that augment your own. A group of advisors committed to your success not only provides a sounding board to test and strengthen your ideas, it gives you access to important competencies and resources.

But many entrepreneurs, especially those in the early stages, find the task of building an advisory board daunting. Whose strengths would complement their own and counter their weaknesses? Who might bring an insight to the table that would otherwise be missed? It can feel like an exercise in knowing what you don’t know. Moreover, most people who have not formalized such a board before haven’t given much thought to…

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In my opinion, there are two ways of entrepreneurship

  1. Grow it!
  2. Keep it small!

I wanted to share my two cents about these two ways of entrepreneurship and how to proceed about that. I have been in business for 8 years now and have learned some small bits and pieces. But, people has been in business for hundreds of years. So, instead of sharing my ways, I am going to recommend some good reading!

Some people think that, reading is overrated. Practical life is different than theory. Books doesn’t apply, smartness is the key. I say you, it’s wrong! Super wrong. Yes, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs were university dropouts. But, that was the age of university dropout. Now is not the age of that. We don’t have time to re-invent the wheel. We have to know what’s happening, what happened and learn from others mistake, because others are learning and if we don’t learn, we will fall behind.

Grow it!

On growth business, the more you grow, the more money you earn. Think of a business where you give software development service to many companies, like us, Brain Station-23. In our company, we make software for other companies. The more software we make, the more money we can earn. To make more software, we need to get more people – and it’s growth.

Currently we are a 70+ people company, serving all over the world, US, UK, Canada, Denmark etc. It started small, 3 people company, grew bigger and bigger as we served our clients successfully.

But, as it grows, a lot of problems arise. The management gets complicated. A lot of rules needs to be implemented. Profitability is reduced.

So, how to address that? To address that, there has been a lot of books written. In my opinion, “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael E. Gerber is the best book for it. 

If you are in this kind of business, where you produce and sell something, say you are in fishing business, or bakery or anything, that is repeatable, this is the way to go.

There, you would always need to think of your business as the product. So, work on your business instead of in it. Then you can see how to grow and how to repeat your success.

There has been a lot of book in this area. Another one I liked very much is “Good to great” By Jim Collins. I liked this one also very much and a must read I think.

Keep it small!

This is a complete different type of business. All you read in “E-Myth revisited” is reverse here. Start small and stay small is the kind here. It’s not like in order to make millions, you need to have a big company, a small company can make big bucks.

While, E-myth would say “They don’t go to the ocean and find the best Dolphin who can do a lots of act, bring it inside for showcasing! They simply go to the ocean, find a Dolphin and then train to do the act”, in this business you need to hire the smartest of people and keep the team small. You hire the dolphin that has a lot of power!

Example of this type of business is “Basecamp” of 37 Signals. It literally earns millions of dollars EACH MONTH, with only 15 people working for it. Even these 15 people are not sitting together, they are spread not only in US, but also in Europe!!

So, how to make this kind of business work? Well, since 37 signals has done it, they have written books for it. If you are interested for this kind of business, then go and read their book. Two books they have published. One is ReWork and another is Getting Real. The super awesome part is, Getting Real is a free book!! I found both very VERY enjoyable. (But before that I have created my company in the other direction, still it’s a good read) 

How great is that!! They have written how they have become successful, in their book. Because, it’s a 600 crore people earth, there’s place for a lot of successful company.

What are these type of business? Well, there’s many. It can be an architectural company, you are designing things and creativity isn’t available in abandon, so you can’t grow it at your will! It can be an idea based company, like Facebook. There’s many like this.

Good luck with your business! 

We have been using a small open source free software for invoicing called “Simple Invoice“. It’s in PHP and being myself a PHP programmer, I have special attraction for it.

I like QuickBooks and I use it also. But, the online version feels little expensive. So are other solutions like http://www.freshbooks.com/. Although they are very beautiful and you can accept payment online, but I didn’t need those.

Simple invoice is free and if somebody has cpanel supported hosting, it’s easy to install it without any technical knowledge. So, I can see all my invoices easily, send any invoice to anybody instantly and my accountant also can review it.

The most important thing that I love about Simple Invoice is, I can modify it as I want, since it’s open source. I have total control over it. Though I’m not doing a lot of modifications, some small ones here and there, but I love the power that I can do it, I don’t need to wait for some other company. It’s just a programmers feeling may be.

I have been using it for one year now and I am pretty impressed with it. So, I thought I can share it with my SME entrepreneurs.

Disclaimer: I’m not anyway involved with Simple Invoice!

I was so overwhelmed seeing this that I thought I would share in my blog and save for myself for eternity

http://www.nevblog.com/how-i-lost-weight-by-accident/

This guy is really cool. His writing style is awesome and worth following. And the idea he shared about his food habit is, frankly speaking, seems pretty simple to follow. And all these for free!! I wonder what’s going to happen those “Loose fat” sites if they see this!!

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