May 15, 2014
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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.
February 22, 2013
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Ever since we started ‘The Store’, we had no real competitors to threaten a loss of clientele or potential clients. We had nothing to rush us into the market or motivate us to work faster or harder. Now, however, things have changed a great deal.
Since the past month, a huge foreign business decided to penetrate the Egyptian market with an aggressive marketing campaign. This company is a giant which we cannot compete with. Hopefully, the situation will end up with us as it did with *David.
Instead of focusing on how we can be metaphorically sodomized by this new threat, we decided on thinking positively and using this new threat to our advantage. From the emergence of this competitor we can deduce the following:
There is a need in our market, since the competition branched into it
We work far better when competing with others, our efforts increased ever since we have been made aware of the situation
The triad of partners does not weaken by threats, our communication and motivation got accelerated by the existence of threat
It will be easier to find potential buyers or funders for the project, since we have a giant to compare ourselves to in terms of service
I hope that other small business founders would not be discouraged by the emergence of a strong competitor. Whenever facing such an overwhelming mind-numbing experience, take a day off and clear your mind.
*From David and Goliath.
February 14, 2013
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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.
February 14, 2013
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‘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.’
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.
February 12, 2013
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As you guys know, I started a business about a year ago and it failed miserably. However, after assessing the situation and reasons behind our failure, we managed to pick ourselves up and plan a new and far better business model. Due to fear of having our idea stolen, a common scenario in internet-based businesses in Egypt, we decided to find a developer and a designer to add to the owner’s team.
With a strange twist of luck, we managed to find one person with both skills, adding a third to the owners/founders. Anyway, the site launch has been delayed about three months so far and is expected to be delayed another month at least. Unfortunately, a competitor had started penetrating the market and is currently threatening our unique idea. Further investigation lead us to believe that this is not such a bad thing because it shows that there is a current need for the market. Nevertheless, their resources are far more than ours.
The emergence of this competitor gave us a fright at first, but we continued to assess the situation until a positive course of action had been determined. We will ride their marketing wave by a stroke of luck (their slogan is our name) and work even harder to reach our loose deadline. The competition gave us the required boost to work even harder and speed the development/testing process.
As soon as the website launches I will make a post so that you would know what the hell I have been ranting about for a year. Good luck on whatever endeavor you are currently embarked on or intend to.
November 27, 2012
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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.
February 16, 2012
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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.
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.