thinkinglazy

Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

On Business: Writing The Book

My apologies to all the followers who expected to hear more about my business but could not. To be perfectly honest, I was looking forward to sharing my knowledge, but was worried about compromising my business edge, which was clearly not a valid concern.

The good news, however, is that I have decided to prepare a book to share my experiences about starting up a business. Unlike other books, it will not be about success, but about failure and the lessons learnt from such a valuable experience. It is not a part of my life that I regret, rather one that fills me with pride.

I will start preparing an outline and start a new blog with weekly, I hope, updates about my progress to test how useful an interesting this experience is for others. You will be posted about the details later.

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On Life: Halted

I have not been able to write my min 1,000 words a day for the past 4 days due to my laptop’s decision to breakdown. It is natural to expect such inconveniences in life once in a while. This, along with a streak of other inconveniences, made me remember a saying one of my professors used to say: ‘When it goes wrong, it goes wrong.’

In other words, sometimes things got wrong and there is nothing you can do about it, and no contingency plan would save you regardless of how meticulous and flawless it had been prepared.

Anyway, I managed to personally disassemble my laptop and look into the situation more thoroughly, something which I enjoy doing a great deal, and located the issue which was easily addressed thereafter.

This experience made me realize a few things about myself, and the path which I chose for my life so far. However, one thing stood out above all others: how productive it is for one to start working/producing immediately after waking up.

Being free from time constraints set by others, I slowly allowed my day to start later and later, until it started at two in the afternoon. Nevertheless, although it seems like a nice way to live, it is a rather unfavorable one which dramatically reduces the amount of things you can accomplish per day.

I still don’t understand why I, and most other people, am more productive when I start my day early, in spite of being awake for the same number of hours, but this seems to be the case.

On Business: Recommended Reading

To support and improve my writing hobby, I decided to read whenever I am free. One of the books which I picked up and could not get away from was Confessions of an Entrepreneur by Chris Robson. I literally read the book in one sitting because of how enticing and relevant to my life it is.

The book summarizes the journey of the author’s entrepreneurial life in a mere 200 pages. I highly recommend it for anyone currently starting their own business or intending to do so. Unlike many books of this genre (I call them business experience plugs), this one can be related to regardless of your nationality or cultural background. The author does not go into details of case studies which a certain group of people have been exposed to, but he simplifies them to the core essence of the idea he wished to convey.

On Business: PL=B

‘Hey, I’m going to a coffee shop now. Care to join me?’

‘What you going for? Just chilling or you got some work you would rather do in a social setting?’

“I got to work on my thesis. I can pick you up in five.’

‘Alright then. Pick me up.’

<Hang up>

I have been having these conversations ever since I quit my 9-5 job. Unless there is a specific social event where I am expected, I do not simply go out. Like all entrepreneurs  I have reached a level where my (Private Life) = (Business), and I just came to realize this as I was showering ten minutes ago.

I currently have no job, no money and only a hopeful idea that keeps me trying to make it work. My partners and I can easily blame the current political and economical situation, but we refuse to acknowledge being helpless. We have a brilliant idea and a team of three with the required skills and talents to make it work. I just feel its future success in my guts!

Unless I had not researched the entrepreneurial journey of other business starters, I would have not been so keen and hopeful about the future regarding my baby. Besides, if we fail this time, then at least we learnt something.

To whoever is having a tough time starting anything -business or not – try to look for writings or testimonies of others which had tried the same thing you are attempting. This should give you the necessary boost to continue on with your plight. However, do not forget that some ideas seem good, but are truly catastrophes waiting to happen.

On Business: Update on The Store

Well, I completely forgot to inform you guys on the progress with ‘The Store’, for those few who were interested in it.

After four months of operating, we decided to move into a new office. We originally planned to prepare for the new opening n one month – prepare the office and new website. However, we underestimated the time which it required us to prepare and drained our capital, over a grueling period of four months.

Fortunately, the purpose of the first phase was to give us an idea about the current market, it was a marketing research phase. After acquiring enough evidence that our concept is needed, most importantly, and profitable, we decided to proceed with the second phase.

Due to mismanagement from my part, my partner and I were forced into a complete re-branding of ‘The Store’. The business plan has been redesigned to minimize costs, while slightly reducing profits. However, the profit margin has been increased significantly.

I am not at complete liberty to disclose on further details of the project yet. As my small business picks up and stabilizes, I will disclose more and more details regarding the process and phases.

Just some advice for any new entrepreneurs, do not expect success with no failure. And try to find a part-time job or full-time job that does not require all of your time while setting up a business and trying it out.

Good luck to you all folk.

On: Business

Well my day is half finished, so far I’ve been browsing the internet and thinking of ways to accelerate the process of starting my own business, well to be honest being your own boss, and the boss of others, is wonderful.

Currently all is awaiting on finding a suitable place to rent, however, I should be meeting with the owner of a potential store/office space today or during the weekend, still awaiting confirmation.

While I wait I try to think of certain activities we can add to the business as well as a well formulated marketing plan to further increase our online presence as well as raise awareness to the general public (in my city) about what we do.

We are currently in the market research phase and moving to actually starting a business within the end of the month (hopefully), if you are interested here is our facebook page link and the link to our website.

https://www.facebook.com/thestoreegypt
http://www.thestoreegypt.com/home/

PS: so far all has been a preliminary market research sort of thing while we implement our activities to be able to properly estimate the return on investment, the website will be completely changed as we hired a professional to make a proper one, the previous website was constructed by my partner and I, and we are not professionals so its not a good one.

If you have any comments or ideas you wanna tell me just post them here or message me.

Thank you and have a great day/evening.

On Business: The Store Making Money

We launched about 10 days ago, so far things are going better then expected, with proper social media use.

In the reselling business, proper awareness raising is critical, since we have no direct formal competitors we require no marketing campaign yet.

We are trying to minimize the costs at this point, and peripheral activities that show no direct perceived increase in profits have been avoided.

A proper need has been identified and due to the low profit margin in this market, it is unlikely to face any direct competition soon, regardless of this estimation, we should be prepared.

I realized that I did not spend enough time thinking of a mission statement for the store, however, I have a general idea of what I want it to, eventually, be.

The following points are simplified objectives I seek to apply:

  • Generate enough money to be able to cover expenses and grow
  • Provide a solution to a current problem
  • Help the world recycle
  • Fill a gap in the market
  • Give chances to people starting their lives, an opportunity to gain experience and to develop

I will be using these points as a reference to come-up with an official mission statement.

On Business: The Store Month One

It’s been a month now since we started renovating the store, and the opening has been delayed a couple of weeks, but were oficially operating today. We originally planned a month to be spent for renovation, but hoped for less.

The marketing plan has reduced to social networks, the video campaign has been slightly delayed due to financial and time constraints, we decided that the limited resources we have are better spent on direct influencers to “The Store” instead of indirect ones, although I think that a large markeing campaign would do us good, we still need to get the hang of it before we expose ourselves to a larger customer-base. This decision was made to help preserve a certain image we hope to convey, and gaining experiance prior to such exposure would only benifit this objective.

We keep running into potential competitors, but after further research we notice their specialized base that we cannot compete with, we have the advantage of not being limited to any types of products.

So far we are ahead of schedule, but behind expectations, the plan was based on a worst case scenario and our expectaions were optimistic, so as a guess I’d say were doing ‘alright’, bearing in mind that we started from scratch.

On Business: The Store

When we first started planning “The Store” we went by the book, whatever we learned in college we applied. We started with a formal proposal and brainstorming sessions, we went with everything we learned but there was one problem, we were applying systematic processes to an unsystematic procedure.

The books certainly provided us with direction, but they limited our view, you can not learn to think outside the box if you’re thinking process is guided. Bit by bit we started identifying different opportunities that few people might have though of applying in a business manner.

Eventually a very well thought of plan and method was written in an organized manner, however, when it came to implementation, we had to improvise and slightly deviate from the original plan.

The major difference happened in the planed and actual marketing strategy, we had a marketing campaign regarding a mascot that was supposed to include a set of videos and photos to be spread via several common social networks, this plan was slightly delayed and, at this point, has a small chance of being completely abandoned, the decision has not been made yet.

The end result was about 90% close to the estimated outcome, with the major difference being in the marketing plan and estimated budget, eventually “The Store” ended up being what we expected it to be.

On Business: Opening A Store

About two months ago I got with a friend from college and were talking about a business he wanted to start, basically he wanted to make a pawn shop here in Egypt, but it was clear that it would face ridiculous amounts of cultural and legal resistance.

The idea then developed to another similar business where the potential threats are far less and the investment minimal.

The whole idea was how to start a new business that could make it big with the least possible capital, both short-term and long-term.

“The Store” sells used items that are brought in by, basically, anyone that wants to get rid of their old stuff, we display the items and look for buyers.

The major threat that we are expecting to face is not properly exposing ourselves to our target market, since we are trying to minimize costs we have only a few alternatives to market ourselves.

We plan to market ourselves primarily by word of mouth and via internet social networks.

I will be updating you with the status of the store and any challenges we encounter, I will also post our decisions and solution regarding these situations.

“The Store” will open on next Sunday, 11 November 2011.