9 Things to Consider Before Forming a Business Partnership

Getting into a business partnership has its benefits. It allows all contributors to share the stakes in the business. Depending on the risk appetites of partners, a business can have a general or limited liability partnership. Limited partners are only there to provide funding to the business. They have no say in business operations, neither do they share the responsibility of any debt or other business obligations. General Partners operate the business and share its liabilities as well. Since limited liability partnerships require a lot of paperwork, people usually tend to form general partnerships in businesses.

Things to Consider Before Setting Up A Business Partnership

Business partnerships are a great way to share your profit and loss with someone you can trust. However, a poorly executed partnerships can turn out to be a disaster for the business. Here are some useful ways to protect your interests while forming a new business partnership:

1. Being Sure Of Why You Need a Partner

Before entering into a business partnership with someone, you need to ask yourself why you need a partner. If you are looking for just an investor, then a limited liability partnership should suffice. However, if you are trying to create a tax shield for your business, the general partnership would be a better choice.

Business partners should complement each other in terms of experience and skills. If you are a technology enthusiast, teaming up with a professional with extensive marketing experience can be quite beneficial.

2. Understanding Your Partner’s Current Financial Situation

Before asking someone to commit to your business, you need to understand their financial situation. When starting up a business, there may be some amount of initial capital required. If business partners have enough financial resources, they will not require funding from other resources. This will lower a firm’s debt and increase the owner’s equity.

3. Background Check

Even if you trust someone to be your business partner, there is no harm in performing a background check. Calling a couple of professional and personal references can give you a fair idea about their work ethics. Background checks help you avoid any future surprises when you start working with your business partner. If your business partner is used to sitting late and you are not, you can divide responsibilities accordingly.

It is a good idea to check if your partner has any prior experience in running a new business venture. This will tell you how they performed in their previous endeavors.

4. Have an Attorney Vet the Partnership Documents

Make sure you take legal opinion before signing any partnership agreements. It is one of the most useful ways to protect your rights and interests in a business partnership. It is important to have a good understanding of each clause, as a poorly written agreement can make you run into liability issues.

You should make sure to add or delete any relevant clause before entering into a partnership. This is because it is cumbersome to make amendments once the agreement has been signed.

5. The Partnership Should Be Solely Based On Business Terms

Business partnerships should not be based on personal relationships or preferences. There should be strong accountability measures put in place from the very first day to track performance. Responsibilities should be clearly defined and performing metrics should indicate every individual’s contribution towards the business.

Having a weak accountability and performance measurement system is one of the reasons why many partnerships fail. Rather than putting in their efforts, owners start blaming each other for the wrong decisions and resulting in company losses.

6. The Commitment Level of Your Business Partner

All partnerships start on friendly terms and with great enthusiasm. However, some people lose excitement along the way due to everyday slog. Therefore, you need to understand the commitment level of your partner before entering into a business partnership with them.

Your business partner(s) should be able to show the same level of commitment at every stage of the business. If they do not remain committed to the business, it will reflect in their work and can be detrimental to the business as well. The best way to maintain the commitment level of each business partner is to set desired expectations from every person from the very first day.

While entering into a partnership agreement, you need to have an idea about your partner’s added responsibilities. Responsibilities such as taking care of an elderly parent should be given due thought to set realistic expectations. This gives room for compassion and flexibility in your work ethics.

7. What Will Happen If a Partner Exits the Business

Just like any other contract, a business venture requires a prenup. This would outline what happens in case a partner wishes to exit the business. Some of the questions to answer in such a scenario include:

How will the exiting party receive compensation?
How will the division of resources take place among the remaining business partners?
Also, how will you divide the responsibilities?
8. Who Will Be In Charge Of Daily Operations
Even when there is a 50-50 partnership, someone needs to be in charge of daily operations. Positions including CEO and Director need to be allocated to appropriate individuals including the business partners from the beginning.

This helps in creating an organizational structure and further defining the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder. When each individual knows what is expected of him or her, they are more likely to perform better in their role.

9. You Share the Same Values and Vision

Entering into a business partnership with someone who shares the same values and vision makes the running of daily operations considerably easy. You can make important business decisions quickly and define long-term strategies. However, sometimes, even the most like-minded individuals can disagree on important decisions. In such cases, it is essential to keep in mind the long-term goals of the business.

Bottom Line

Business partnerships are a great way to share liabilities and increase funding when setting up a new business. To make a business partnership successful, it is important to find a partner that will help you make fruitful decisions for the business. Thus, pay attention to the above-mentioned integral aspects, as a weak partner(s) can prove detrimental for your new venture.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing – A Viable ERP System?

Why Should we care if we can use Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing?

Given the disruption of the past year, a lot of businesses are investigating ways to work remotely and in a hybrid work environment. There are a few technologies that manufacturing companies need to use that don’t work well remotely. One of them is ERP systems. That’s why we should care about Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing.

If you are looking to replace an ERP system because you want to ensure it facilitates remote work, cloud ERP is where you need to look. My experience is almost entirely with what is often called “SMB” or Small and Medium Business manufacturers.

There are not a lot of good, modern cloud based ERP systems in the mid-market / SMB space. There are even less that really support manufacturing. That means that the best cloud systems are priced out of most manufacturers budget.

Oh, In case you are wondering, Microsoft defines SMB as businesses with less than 250 computers. That’s a pretty large manufacturer.

What is Business Central?

In the simplest terms, Business Central is the new brand name for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. In all the ways that count this cutting edge new cloud based ERP is the old Dynamics NAV reimagined in the cloud.

Microsoft did not shirk on the technology either! They have a boat load of money, and they were willing to spend a lot of it on Business Central.

The full name of the product is Dynamics 365 Business Central. That 365 should look familiar, because it appears on Office 365, Microsoft 365 etc…

This does mean that Business Central is part of the same suite of products you might already be using for your Outlook email, Teams communication, Microsoft Word or Excel productivity tools. And yes, that is a big advantage to Microsoft. It doesn’t mean that it will work in Manufacturing however – so that remains to be seen.

How does it compare with more traditional manufacturing ERP?

I recently wrote a blog comparing Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing with a pretty well respected mid-market pure manufacturing ERP called Infor Visual ERP.

I worked extensively with Visual ERP for almost 20 years (ironically I never sold a copy in all that time). I ran the firm that people who had trouble with the system came to for help.

When I migrated my business away from Infor Visual, I investigated a lot of products. I settled on Dynamics NAV (which later became Business Central) after significant research.

By 2014 we had started switching Visual ERP customers Microsoft Dynamics NAV manufacturing. There are a few small areas that Visual might do a bit better in. That is more than overcome by two main factors that make Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing really shine.

Customizability

Dynamics NAV and now Business Central are extremely easy to program, which let us enhance it in ways you absolutely could not with Visual. It’s so easy to program that we are essentially giving away “Missing” Visual features when we sell the product.

This customization let us plug any holes we found. It also allowed us to do the one thing Visual customers always cried about. We could make small, easily maintained, incremental changes. We could adjust the system to make it work better for the customer.

We avoided any kind of massive programming (although in my time I’ve seen other partners who didn’t avoid the same). We focused on making really useful changes that allowed the customer to get rapid benefits. This made a huge difference to customers. It can be a game changer when a very small change saves staff hours every week.

Dynamics 365 AppSource Addons

More or less related is the existence of addons for Microsoft Dynamics products.

When we first started selling Dynamics NAV for manufacturing, there was no AppSource. AppSource is like the Google Play store or Apple Apps store. It’s a place to go and rapidly (in seconds really) install addons.

In the early days these addons existed, were certified by Microsoft, but did not exist in any central location. Today things are even better. With Appsource we can really enhance Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing. I mention a couple of those modules below.

Wait! I have to get Addons

There are 2 schools of thought about ERP systems. You want to get a really good ERP system with: great accounting; inventory control; purchasing and sales; CRM; scheduling; shop floor execution etc…

Imagine you wanted to get a similarly priced personal item. Say you wanted to get a vehicle and a camping trailer. You went to 2 dealerships. A Ford and the other GMC.

In our fake and hypothetical Ford dealer they sell their F150 truck, with a Ford Radio, Ford Tires, and a Ford brand camping trailer. This specific ford’s rims are totally custom and don’t fit other makes of tires. Nobody makes a radio that fits their dash. The trailer is OK but not the best you’ve seen. The trailer hitch is custom built for their truck.

You have no choice. But wait! It’s all in one warranty so if anything goes wrong you can blame them and they have to fix it!

GMC sells their big truck by itself. You can choose which tires you get, so you want Michelin tires. You can add a radio, and decide to get the more expensive but awe inspiring Bose Radio. They don’t sell trainers, so you buy an Airstream.

You would never complain about GM not making their own tires or radio, and you would never want the Ford where you had no choice but to get what they sell.

Why do you want an ERP that forces you to get their proprietary versions of things instead of buying the best you can afford?

Out of the Box Manufacturing Features in Business Central

Dynamics Business Central manufacturing capabilities are identical to what was in Microsoft Dynamics NAV manufacturing.

There are a set of core modules in the Essentials edition of Business Central. These include: sales orders, inventory and purchase orders; assembly management; jons (project accounting and management); and warehouse management.

Some customers use the Essentials version exclusively. It works fine depending on your mode of manufacturing (see below).

Upgrading to the Premium version adds extra capabilities. You get Bills of Materials; Routings; Machine and Work Centers; Capacity Planning; Production Orders and other purely manufacturing oriented features.

Premium also adds Service management, which is used in the Engineer to Order space quite frequently, but not often in regular manufacturing.

Detailed Features in Manufacturing – in the Premium Version

Production Order Management

Agile Manufacturing
Version Management
Inventory Planning
Demand Forecasting
Machine Centre Management
Capacity Planning
Finite Loading
Production Bill of Materials
Production Scheduling
Supply Planning
Modes of Manufacturing for Business Central

I tend to think of manufacturing ERP projects in terms of the mode of manufacturing being used. There are different definitions from different organizations (mainly APICS) but these are the ones I tend to see and my take on how good Business Central for manufacturing is for these modes.

Engineer to Order – ETO

This is my favorite. I worked at an ETO for a few years before starting my own business. Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing includes a really powerful project accounting module called Jobs. Since ETO manufacturers are really project manufacturers, this jobs module is a solid foundation. There are a few additional addons that I strongly recommend (including one that we created) to make the fit even better.

Overall – Business Central for ETO is really good.

Make to Order and Make to Stock – Production Manufacturing

Make to Order and Make to Stock are usually two separate modes of manufacturing (and they are) but I combine them into one mode I call Production Manufacturing. The out of the box manufacturing modules that are part of Business Central Premium work great for these businesses. Many of them also want the addins that I list below – which are great extra features.

Job Shops

Job shops tend to come in the biggest variety and tend to actually not fit that well into either ETO or Production Manufacturing. I’d want to see the Job Shop to see whether it’s more of a micro-production shop (very common – I call these “repetitive job shops”) or whether it’s more of a custom mini-project manufacturer like a light ETO.

These businesses vary a lot in what they make. A food co-packer is technically a job shop. So is a welding service business, a small machine shop etc…

Whatever the case, it is a good fit for Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing.

Process Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing is usually related to making one of the following:

Cosmetics
Chemicals
Nutraceuticals
Pharmaceuticals
Food manufacturing
Process manufacturing needs some heavy duty addons for Business Central to work properly. This is outside my comfort zone to be honest. The regulations and batch manufacturing processes are really unique. I have a few colleagues that I send these kinds of prospects to. Those addons for Business Central are extremely good, and handle this industry very, very well.

Graphics Arts Manufacturing

Print Manufacturing is it’s own sub-type, really a form of either Job Shop or Production Manufacturing depending on what they make. These businesses don’t work as well out of the box with Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing. They usually fall into these categories.

Commercial Print (magazines, business carts, posters, flyers etc. – a real Job Shop)
Folding Cartons (think a toothpaste box, or cereal box. Can be production or Job Shop)
Flexible Packaging (these companies make the plastic bags you get consumer goods in)
Labels (could be a wine bottle label, or a shampoo bottle, or your aspirin).
Wide Format (think huge banners, giant photographs on walls in a mall etc.)
This mode of manufacturing has a really great addon for Business Central called PrintVis. PrintVis is a Print manufacturing MIS software addon that turns Business Central into arguably the best Print MIS in the market.

Add-ins Recommended by Me

My team has reviewed many addon solutions since we started working with Business Central for manufacturing. Here are our top choices:

InsightWorks Shop Floor Insights (SFI)

This is a manufacturing execution system for collecting job costing data (time), production reporting and materials use in real time. Comes with a nifty scheduling tool also.

InsightWorks Warehouse Insights (WHI)

This product is my favorite wireless barcoding solution for warehouse management. It runs on most of major brands of wireless devices used in warehouses today. I think it’s a great mid-level warehouse management solution.

Netronic Visual Production Scheduler

For those who need a a graphical drag and drop scheduler, Netronic is the industry standard for Business Central. Their Visual Production Scheduler is more or less for visualizing and manually editing the schedule. The Advanced Production Scheduler is more robust and will do best fit scheduling.

Conclusion

We’ve taken a look at using Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing in this article. I’ve had the opportunity to oversee the implementation of this system in more than 50 companies, and so far, so good. For that SMB manufacturer with 20 employees who work in the office and 60 that work in the shop – this is a great system. We’ve got a few customers with 500+ total employees using it very successfully. We also have a few with 10 total employees, and they are able to make it work.

If you are a manufacturing company that is in the small or medium market (again – less than 250 computers) looking for ERP I strongly suggest you look at Microsoft Dynamics. I can confidently say that as an ERP Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing is a great fit.

Read More / Contact Us

All we do at my business (Sabre Limited) is implement Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing. We are experts at remotely deploying Business Central for manufacturing companies all across the US and Canada.

For a deeper dive into features you can read my article where I review Business Central manufacturing features.

You may also want to learn a bit more about Sabre’s business central training here including our fixed fee pricing model.

We have extensive experience with Dynamics 365 Business Central in manufacturing, and can definitely help any company interested in that system. You can also give us a call at: (519) 585-7524 x.31.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

How Can I Start a Gold Business in Dubai?

When Dubai is mentioned, their gold and diamond collection is one of the first things to come to mind because it is a trend in the emirate. Referred to as the “City of Gold”, the place offers a cheaper cost of gold than most tourists’ home countries. Since Dubai is a popular international vacation destination, the influx of the wealthiest customers can be significantly considered if you want to start a gold business.

Indeed, gold is an investment in Dubai as it drives foreign capital in the country. Unknown to many, it is the most profitable business since the precious metals keep their value, and the demand has been continually working every year. While Dubai has historically been a hub for gold traders, they also continuously contribute a significant share in the gold trading business in the UAE. If you are an investor, you should definitely consider setting up a gold trade business in Dubai. If you are not sure how, this article will help you delve deep before the onset of your gold business. With more knowledge and understanding, you can start making a profit out of gold, even in different departments.

Where exactly in Dubai?

There are different authorities and jurisdictions that highly support gold trading licenses in Dubai. Most of them can be found in Mainland and Freezone. Although there are many, there are three jurisdictions that stand out in Dubai where the highest concentration of gold traders can be found.

First on the list would be the Gold Trading License in Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED), wherein the heart of the UAE’s gold market is established. This authority is how you incorporate a business in the most famous gold markets in the world, the Gold Souk in Deira. The mainland jurisdiction offers a local license via the DED if an investor opts to form a retail outlet in this area. They can have an opportunity for investors to open up a stall or even a kiosk in Dubai’s most popular tourist areas. Investors must keep in mind that before applying for another commercial license for gold business via the DED, they have to find a local partner who will hold 51 per cent of the shares in the company.

The second choice for setting up a gold trade business in Dubai would be in the Gold and Diamond Park located along Sheikh Zayed Road. If you are an expat wanting to own 100 per cent of the business, this place is perfect for you as it is a free zone company setup. You can own 100% of your company with no taxes and have total resettlement of profit. The Gold and Diamond Park is one of the most famous retailers of gold and jewellery with over 90 stores, 118 purpose-built manufacturing blocks, and 350 offices. It is a convenient spot in Dubai City Center, with convenient access to all areas. You can incorporate a gold business company in this area by getting a license from Jebel Ali Freezone Authority (JAFZA).

The third choice for your gold business in Dubai is through Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), another Free Zone Authority. DMCC is famous for its Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), DMCC Trade flow, and overall gold value chain.

What are the steps?

The next thing you need to know is how you will make your gold business in Dubai happen. Different authorities and jurisdictions require other processes and requirements, so it is not easy to have one. Although the gold and jewellery business is popular in Dubai, the government has created specific regulations. It imposes rigorous checkups on those who bring gold or other precious metals in the emirate to have a safe business environment. To guide you, we have listed some of the essential steps you should do to form a gold business company in Dubai..

Come up with a Trade Name

Before you can obtain a license, part of its statutory requirement is to have a trading name. Having a trading name is a way for the government to know the business activity you will be carrying.

Obtain a Business License

There is no way to start a business in Dubai without having a business license. As mentioned above, you can choose to start your gold business in Dubai with the three different authorities like DED, JAFZA, and DMCC. They all require investors to have their business registered before carrying out their business activity. Unlike JAFZA and DMCC, which is in the Free zone, DED requires a particular requirement of having a local sponsor who will own 51 percent of the shares before he/she can obtain a business license. Usually, getting a license requires some of the primary documents:
Completed Application form
Passport copy of the proposed owner(s)
Two copies of coloured passport photos

Choose your Business Premises

There are various premises to choose from, especially if you opt to set up in the free zone area. They can offer you different offices or facilities that will best suit your business requirements. This process can be done right after you have secured your business license.

Obtain your Visa

Obtaining a visa can be achieved with the help of your service provider. Visas are required, especially if you have to hire an employee. As the holder of a UAE business license, you also have the power to sponsor others for their visa too. The number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your company or business, the type of company you choose, and your earnings.

Since Dubai has proven itself as a healthy and sustainable environment for jewellery and gold business both local and international investors, it is safe to say that starting a gold company in Dubai is highly profitable and can provide growth for the business.

Given all the information above, you may think that starting a gold business in Dubai is not overly complex. Doing it alone may still lead you to troublesome situations and unexpected expenses; that is why it is essential to seek professional help. In IBG Consulting, we guide you based on knowing the legal proceedings and business structuring in Dubai. We have a pool of talented consultants that will help you start your gold business in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE. If you want to know more about how you can create a gold business in Dubai, contact us or visit our website for a consultation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

3 Reasons You’re Not Making Business Profits (and How to Avoid Them)

Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #17

Stop Doing These 3 Wasteful Things in Your Business to Start Making Net Profits!

“Waste not, want not.”
”Don’t waste your breath.”
”What a waste of time/space/energy.”

The list goes on and I’m sure you’ve either heard or said any number of these idioms over the years.

Being the system type of personality that I am, wasting time is a big pet peeve of mine.

Growing up on the farm my Dad decided he wanted to control the thistles that were starting to take over the back pasture. I guess pesticides weren’t a thing back then, but child labour was!

One summer he put me to work pulling out every single thistle stock… by hand. Armed with adult-sized leather gloves, I sat on the field grabbing the large prickly stalks at the base and tugged with all my might to free those suckers from their clutches. I had to ensure every bit of root was captured; otherwise, the weed would grow right back again.

I laboured all summer on that project (or so my childhood memory has deemed this to be true). It was a big patch of nettles with thick stocks firmly implanted into the hard ground, so they weren’t all that easy to pull out for this 10 year old.

Of course the next summer they all came back to continue their dominance of the field.

What a colossal waste of time that was.

Have you ever felt like you’ve wasted too much of something in your business? When marketing the services that we provide, you’ll often hear me encourage business owners to stop wasting three things:

1. Wasting Time

2. Wasting Money

3. Wasting Energy

Let’s explore each of these areas and see if anything resonates with you.

Wasting time

One of the biggest problems I see entrepreneurs have is wasting their time trying to learn and do something that’s outside their area of expertise.

Somewhere along the way, especially us women, we got it into our heads that we should know how to do everything that involves building a business.

How is that even possible?

Even if one had a Masters degree in Business, would they know HOW to do everything? Certainly they would know WHAT needs to be done, but I argue not how.

That’s why businesses can’t be built with just one person. They need a team.

Businesses need to delegate to people who have expertise in areas the founder doesn’t.. And no, the DIY tools that are available don’t cut the mustard. Just because I know how to use a calculator, doesn’t make me a mathematician.

Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know and that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with you. You simply need to learn to delegate!

I asked fellow business owners in a Facebook group I belong to what they found wasteful in their business and throughout this piece you will hear their responses.

This one from Christine Awram, founder of Woman of Worth, shares her valuable lesson on trying to do everything herself:

“Wearing too many hats and not staying focused on what I’m most brilliant at, letting others shine their specific brilliance on areas I’m not as strong in. Doing everything and/or micromanaging comes with a price tag, primarily burnout and unintentionally pissing people off LOL. This was a hard lesson for me many years ago, when I thought I was Superwoman and could do everything.”

Another waste of time that I certainly fell into the trap of is attending countless webinars and seminars. And I’m not the only one! NLP Trainer and Master Coach Teri Holland wrote:

“I wasted a lot of time and money on weekend seminars that offered no value, but I felt a sense of “FOMO” if I didn’t attend. Each time I left feeling deflated the seminar didn’t provide what was promised and was just a sales pitch for a bigger program.

And there are some good ones out there too! I’m just more discerning about where I spend my time and money now and I stopped chasing the next shiny offer.”

Jenn Biddlecombe with Inner City Flooring in Coquitlam mentioned a waste of time you may have also experienced:

“I wasted energy on trying to get family to support my business at the beginning. You and you alone are the only one who cares about your success.”

Wasting Money

I mean, who hasn’t wasted money while pursuing their dream business? I sure have!

Similar to Teri, I spent a lot of money on courses and programs that didn’t deliver anywhere near what was promised. Heck, I could have taught those courses myself and added even more value while at it!

Aside from spending money on courses and programs, there are other areas that could be sucking your money out of your net profits.

One of them I have experienced is hiring the wrong people for our team. Whether hiring an employee, contractor or sub-contractor, this can be a very costly mistake if the proper due diligence isn’t done to ensure the right person is chosen.

And I’m not the only one! Martin Jongejan, owner of ZOOM Home Cleaning Experts expressed his frustrations in this area:

“Spending too much time and effort on members of my team that I wanted to succeed in their role, more than they wanted to succeed in their role. Was like trying to push a rope. I can’t underestimate the importance of having people on your team who get it, who want it, and who are capable of doing it.”

And Renata Kobek with Kobek Immigrations has a similar experience:

“Paying for professional services that were subpar and spending too much time trying to make sure everything is perfect.”

Business Management Consultant at Black Sheep Business Consulting, Kevin Foreman shared a valuable lesson he learned about wasting money:

“I have wasted the most in business by means of capital. It underlines the need to have ample financial resources, as not every investment in your business will pay off. Some people like to say ‘you don’t need money to start or grow a business’, but they couldn’t be more wrong. You need lots of money, because even the strongest businesses waste lots of capital. The loss in opportunity of not wasting capital is lesser than the chance to gain market share, which comes by wasting some capital.”

Ultimately, to grow a business, it’s important to ensure whatever you are investing money in has an ROI (Return on Investment). If that investment, such as a fancy new phone, a program teaching you skills outside of your area of expertise, or state-of-the-art camera, can’t make you money, then reconsider and use those funds for something that will.

Wasting Effort

Sometimes we don’t realize just how valuable effort is. It’s not tangible or measurable, but when push comes to shove, it’s extremely valuable.

Effort is a resource we need to hold onto dearly and ensure it’s being used with the right intentions.

Achieving our goals is one such intention. Do you have your business goals mapped out? What do you want to achieve in the next 6 months? By next year? 5 years from now?

If you haven’t mapped out your goals then you could be wasting a lot of effort chasing unachievable pipe dreams.

Or maybe you do have goals in mind, but have you mapped out how to achieve them? What needs to take place to realize those goals?

This is where knowing your numbers is also imperative. If you don’t know your numbers, then you are wasting a lot of effort playing in your business.

This example from Marcel Barker with Tammi Anne Barker wasted a lot of effort trying to sell before truly understanding what they were selling:

“Our biggest waste of time, energy, and money comes from not fully understanding our product life cycle and when we should be doing what. We’d generate a bunch of hype on social media long before we had figured out what we were selling and how it would be produced. When I finally sat down to write a proper business plan I researched and wrote up a full, highly detailed end-to-end walkthrough, taking a collection through high concept -> design -> development -> launch -> selling -> production. It revealed a lot of what we had been doing wrong.”

Chasing those shiny objects that inundate us Every. Single. Day. can be so tempting when we don’t know our numbers and have a business and marketing plan in place to follow.

And thus we go full circle.

Wasting valuable time, money and effort trying to build a successful and sustainable business.

Does any of this resonate with you?

Do you need help getting on track and following a solid plan for your business as opposed to playing in it? I offer free 30-minute consultations for business owners just like you and invite you to book an appointment so I can help you get on the right track to building your dream business.

To your business success,

Susan

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES ON OUR WEBSITE:

1. Read: The Entrepreneurial Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome Exposed. There’s an insidious travesty happening to entrepreneurs w/ Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome. What you need to know before signing up for another program.

2. Read: Why Focus is the #1 Factor in Your Business Success. Do you get distracted by shiny objects? If you are busy doing different projects seeking business success, you should always ask yourself these questions posed by guest author Cheryl Bishop.

3. Watch: Why Business Plans are a Must-Have. You’ve heard about the importance of business plans but do you know why they are so essential? My guest Pamela Chatry shares valuable business plan insights.

4. Watch: Simplifying & Demystifying the Business Plan. Creating a business plan doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. My guest Pamela Chatry covers the important components that go into a business plan.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel c

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The results of this past election proved once again that the Democrats had a golden opportunity to capitalize on the failings of the Trump Presidency but, fell short of a nation wide mandate. A mandate to seize the gauntlet of the progressive movement that Senator Sanders through down a little over four years ago. The opportunities were there from the very beginning even before this pandemic struck. In their failing to educate the public of the consequences of continued Congressional gridlock, conservatism, and what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation would do led to the results that are playing out today.. More Congressional gridlock, more conservatism and more suffering of millions of Americans are the direct consequences of the Democrats failure to communicate and educate the public. Educate the public that a progressive agenda is necessary to pull the United States out of this Pandemic, and restore this nations health and vitality.

It was the DNC’s intent in this election to only focus on the Trump Administration. They failed to grasp the urgency of the times. They also failed to communicate with the public about the dire conditions millions have been and still are facing even before the Pandemic. The billions of dollars funneled into campaign coffers should have been used to educate the voting public that creating a unified coalition would bring sweeping reforms that are so desperately needed. The reality of what transpired in a year and a half of political campaigning those billions of dollars only created more animosity and division polarizing one extreme over another.

One can remember back in 1992 Ross Perot used his own funds to go on national TV to educate the public on the dire ramifications of not addressing our national debt. That same approach should have been used during this election cycle. By using the medium of television to communicate and educate the public is the most effective way in communicating and educating the public. Had the Biden campaign and the DNC used their resources in this way the results we ae seeing today would have not created the potential for more gridlock in our government. The opportunity was there to educate the public of safety protocols during the siege of this pandemic and how National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation provides the necessary progressive reforms that will propel the United States out of the abyss of debt and restore our economy. Restoring our economy so that every American will have the means and the availability of financial and economic security.

The failure of the Democratic party since 2016 has been recruiting a Presidential Candidate who many felt was questionable and more conservative signals that the results of today has not met with the desired results the Democratic party wanted. Then again? By not fully communicating and not educating the public on the merits of a unified progressive platform has left the United States transfixed in our greatest divides since the Civil War. This writers support of Senator Bernie Sanders is well documented. Since 2015 he has laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. He also has the foundations on which these reforms can deliver the goods as they say. But, what did the DNC do, they purposely went out of their way to engineer a candidate who was more in tune with the status-quo of the DNC. They failed to communicate to the public in educating all of us on the ways our lives would be better served with a progressive agenda that was the benchmark of Senators Sanders Presidential campaign and his Our Revolution movement. And this is way there is still really no progress in creating a less toxic environment in Washington and around the country.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off