Who Are You Trying to Kid With That Business Plan?

A lot of people dream of starting their own business. They have heard of the “unlimited opportunities” and the “complete freedom” and the “not having a boss”. If you are one of those who have that dream and believe it really can come true then I have something to say to you “WAKE UP!”When you start your own business you don’t have ‘complete freedom’. As a matter of fact there’s a really good chance that you will have less freedom, a lot less freedom. To be successful you will most likely be working seven days a week and you will be working longer hours and you will be working for a lot less money (at least in the beginning). Does it still sound like something you really want to do?As far as ‘not having a boss’ goes, well I hate to be the one to break this to you but you will always have a boss. If you don’t do what the customers want then you will go out of business and if you are lucky enough to borrow money to start and run your business then your banker/investors will be telling you a lot about how you are going to run your business. Okay so maybe they aren’t your ‘boss’ but they are still the ones who will tell your what you must do. And that’s what your current boss does now. Does it still sound good?Of course you can be stubborn and do what you want instead of what the customers want and there’s a word for business owners that do that. They are called employees because they went out of business and had to go back to work for someone else. Still interested in starting your own business?I’m going to assume at this point if you are still reading, that you are interested in starting your own business. Don’t get me wrong, I have started lots of companies and had a lot of success. Over a period of ten years I actually sold two of my companies to a Fortune 50 company for a LOT of money. At that time a lot of my friends commented on how lucky I was for that to happen. I just smiled and didn’t respond to those types of comments. You see, they only saw the end result of a lot of really hard work and a lot of really long hours working seven days a week. They didn’t see the failed marriage, the teetering on the brink of not being able make my payment to the bank. They didn’t see me working for free with no salary at all for weeks and weeks. They didn’t see me having to take money from my personal checking account in order to meet payroll. Yep, I sure was lucky.When you start your own business you don’t see things like those I just mentioned. If you are serious about starting your own business then you have heard that you must have a ‘business plan’ to take to the investors. Well, I have looked at lots and lots of business plans over the years and for the most part they were all worthless. People who want to start a business tend to see the world through rose colored glasses. For example when they get to the part on the business plan where they are to assess the competition nearly everyone completely under estimates not only the number of competitors but the strength of the competitors too. People who are convinced that they want to go into business for themselves tend to operate with blinders on. I’ve seen people come up with some really outlandish things in the ‘Competition Analysis’ of a business plan.Failure to properly analyze the competition is one of the most common flaws I see in start-up business plans. Here’s an example: I had a gentlemen come to me (as a potential investor) with the idea of starting his own Lexus repair shop. He had been a mechanic for over 15 years and had all of the ‘industry certifications’ and had been through all sorts of courses and schools on how to diagnose and repair just about anything related to Lexus automobiles. He had no experience in how to “run” a repair shop but that’s the subject of another article.Here’s how brief recap of how the conversation about competition went:Me: “What about your competition, who are they? Him: “There really isn’t any”. Me: “What? How do people get their cars repaired now?” Him: “Nearly everyone takes their cars to one of the local dealerships for repairs. I can do it a lot cheaper than the dealerships because I will not have all their overhead.” Me: “So there are no independent shops that work on Lexus?” Him: “There are some independent shops but they are so small that I wouldn’t consider them real competitors.” Me: “So why are they so small?” Him: “I think their prices are too high.” Me: “Are their prices lower than the dealerships who are doing the majority of the work now?” Him: “Yes. The independent shops are almost always a lot cheaper than the dealerships.” Me: “So maybe the independents are so small because people who own a Lexus are not swayed by lower prices. After all they paid a lot for their car. Maybe they are not as price conscious as you think.” Him: “I can do the same work for 30% to 40% cheaper, how could they not be interested in that?”Can you see what’s going on here. This guy was convinced he could do it better, faster and cheaper than anyone else. Yet the facts as he presented them showed that the customers he wanted to go after were not easily persuaded by the “cheaper price” argument which happened to be what he wanted to use as his unique selling proposition.One of my favorite sayings when talking to people about their business plans is “Don’t confuse me with the facts because my mind is already made up.” A business plan is supposed to get people to think. To do an unemotional analysis to see if there really is a viable opportunity there. But too many of them will do all sorts of mental gymnastics to justify their position. I don’t care what type of business you are thinking about starting, there is competition out there. Don’t kid yourself.Another big problem I see in business plans is a lack of management experience. Here’s another real world example. I had a ‘friend of a friend’ ask me to meet with a friend of theirs. It was a woman who had the idea of starting her own “cookie bakery”. She didn’t have the funds necessary and was coming to me as a potential investor. I agreed to meet with her. One of the very first questions I asked was “Where did you come up with the idea of starting your own bakery”? She said that for years she had baked cookies and she had lots and lots of people tell her she should start her own bakery. These people (mostly friends and family) said she baked the best cookies they had ever tasted. She had brought some to our meeting and to her credit, they were very good.When I asked her about her experience in running a bakery she told me she had never actually worked in a bakery. As a matter of fact, she had been a secretary up until the birth of her second child and had taken 6 years off. Now that the child was going to school, she was ready to “go into business for myself”.Out of respect for the friend who had asked me to meet with her I didn’t quickly end the meeting as I normally would have. Instead I took some time and asked her some questions. My goal was to try to get her to stop being emotional and to only analyze the facts. A few of the questions were:”Have you picked out a location?”
“Do you have any idea what the lease will be?”
“How much will it cost to renovate to get it ready?”
“How much equipment will it take?”
“Can you lease it or do you have to buy it?”
“Where are you going to get your customers?”
“How much is the insurance going to be?”
“What about liability insurance in case someone claims your cookies made them sick?”
“Where are you going to get your customers?”
“How are you going to advertise?”
“How about utilities?”
“How much will it cost you to make a single cookie?”She stumbled through most of her answers and in exasperation said “You don’t seem excited about this idea”. She said she was really excited about the idea and was hoping I would get excited to. I told her I get excited when the companies I have invested in are making a lot of profit.The meeting was going nowhere and I couldn’t get through all of her emotions so I told her to get all of the information together then total up the monthly expenses with no salary for herself and come back and tell me how many cookies she needed to sell everyday just to pay the bills. She told me that as the owner she should get a salary. I agreed and said your salary will be paid from the profits so your income is virtually unlimited. Just put the numbers together and give me a call when you can tell me how many cookies you have to sell everyday just to pay the bills.Guess what? I never heard back from her. I was the one who rained on her parade with a harsh dose of reality.It takes a lot of courage to go into business for yourself. It’s not for the faint of heart and requires a 100% commitment. And in the beginning it requires you to take a realistic look at the facts without deluding yourself. If you are going to present your business plan to anyone else with the hopes of having them invest in your new venture, you better be ready for some really tough questions. The best way to prepare yourself for those types of questions is to not kid yourself when working up your business plan. As a final note don’t EVER tell a potential investor that there is no competition. They know better.

Top Queensland Resorts and Hotels

Queensland has developed a plethora of accommodation choices for those looking to embark on Queensland holidays. Visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in complete luxury during their stay in the region. From all-inclusive island resorts to some of the most fascinating hotels in the city centers, you will be able to find comfort and style set to world class standards in Queensland resorts and hotels.Queensland Accommodation BrisbaneAs the capital of Queensland, Brisbane has some of the grandest accommodation choices to offer. Bribie Island – On the Bay Resort is one of the most highly rated resorts in this part of Queensland. The facility features 28 spacious luxury apartments each room having large slide back glass doors and spacious balconies offering sensational views of the bay. The resort has a 10 meter salt water lap pool, spa ledge, sun baking lounges, outdoor dining area and barbecue. Also on the facility is the award winning Blue Anchorage Restaurant.Clear Mountain Lodge and Vineyard occupies a pristine location on the peak of Clear Mountain offering flabbergasting views of Brisbane City, Samsonvale Lakes, The Glasshouse Mountains as well as the Samford Valley.Queensland Accommodation Gold Coast As one of the most beautiful places to stay in Queensland, the Gold Coast is loaded with fine accommodation choices for tourists. The 19th Avenue On The Beach is an excellent Queensland accommodation opportunity located on Palm Beach. The absolute beachfront location makes this an unmatched place which promises plenty of lazy days to soak up the sun and enjoy magnificent views of the brilliant blue Pacific Ocean.Aruba Sands Resort is a world class four star hotel located in the heart of Broadbeach. Although this place is known for its hustle and bustle this particular hotel is located in a quiet side street. It has a patrolled swimming area along with a Kurrawa Surf Club and the Oasis Shopping Centre located in the vicinity.Whitesunday’s Accommodation Whitesunday’s is one of the most favored places to stay in Queensland. It has a variety of world class hotels and resorts to offer to the tourists. Amongst the many world class accommodation choices in Whitesunday’s is Airlie Cove Resort & Van Park Drive. This brilliant resort is at a distance of 2 km from the Airlie Beach and provides the ideal mainland base from where you can embark on an exploration of the entire region.Also located on Airlie Beach, Water’s Edge Resort is another brilliant resort set amidst lush tropical gardens. The hillside upon which it is located at a distance of 100 metres from the bustling cosmopolitan village of the region adding further value to the accommodation.Above mentioned are just some of the brilliant Queensland resorts and hotels that you will have the opportunity to reside in during your trip to this popular tourist destination of Australia. Other regions that you might want to look at for suitable Queensland travel accommodation are Tropical North Queensland, Townsville, Mackay, Fraser Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Top 9 reasons to plan your stay at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai

Arriving and staying in the city of Mumbai is a very rewarding experience for the people especially if they are planning their stay in a very good quality hotel. There is no need to worry because Mumbai is a city that is inclusive of different kinds of hotels that are ultimately successful in terms of providing the people be top-notch quality facilities and features and one such great hotel is Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai. Staying into Taj Mahal Hotel is a dream of many people because of multiple reasons and some of those reasons why people prefer this particular hotel are mentioned as follows:

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The hotel comes with a worry-free experience for the guests: In case the people have to choose everything about the trip on their own for example transportation, stay and several other kinds of things then it can be a very tiring experience. But whenever one will go with the option of allowing the hotels to choose and arrange the transportation then one can enjoy a very worry-free trip very easily. The moment when the people will be walking outside they will find the hotel the person of hotel staff holding the placard and they will escort to the transportation being arranged by them. The hotel is very much successful in terms of enhancing the experience for the people so that all the guests can have a worry-free experience because this particular hotel always pays proper attention to the demands of the guests.
The welcoming experience is too good: The moment when the people will walk through the door of the hotel they will be witnessing one of the finest and largest hotel companies of India as well as Asia. Staying in this particular hotel is a very good experience and the people will be greeted with chilled towels, the tastiest non-alcoholic welcome drink, and the flower lei.
It comes with a high-quality museum and art collection: The hotel also pays proper serious attention to the best quality art collection and everywhere people will be looking there will be a masterpiece in the form of painting, sculpture, or artifact and the best part is that everything has been created by the Indians only. There are more than 300 pieces in this particular hotel and along with all these kinds of things; the hotel is itself no less than a tourist destination. Hence, whenever people will plan their stay in this particular hotel they will be availing multiple advantages in the long run.
The rooms are amazing: Every room comes with beautiful new interiors and there are different kinds of categories of rooms and each one of them is ridiculously beautiful. Every room has been designed differently so that people have a top-notch quality experience all the time. The architecture has been paid proper attention and the interior design provided by the hotels is amazing. Hence, whenever the individuals are interested in avail the advantages of best quality interior designing they must go with the option of staying into this particular hotel so that they can enjoy on the trip.
The food is breathtaking: The hotel comes with 11 restaurants and 24 hours of room service for the people. The on-site restaurants are many and they help in providing the people with different kinds of cuisine options, for example, Arabic, Japanese, Mediterranean, western dishes, Indian, Chinese, French, Italian and several other options so that taste buds of every guest are perfectly satisfied and there is no issue to any of the guests in the form of food items. Hence, the variety and flexibility provided by these kinds of cuisine options are top-notch.
The hotel comes with the best service in the industry: Taj hotels are well-known across the globe for the hospitality and services provided by them and Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai is also a very important member of this list. This particular hotel treats their entire staff very well and most of them have been working here for many years and are very much happy. The waiters serve the breakfast perfectly to the people and one will get everything which one normally expects at a five-star international hotel breakfast buffet. Hence whenever the people are interested to take the best possible advantage of top-notch quality hospitality and different kinds of services then depending upon staying into this particular hotel is very much important. To have proper access to delicious and authentic Indian dishes you must plan your stay in the Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai.
The hotel comes with a very good pool: Whenever the individuals are interested to relax and enjoy a good time with them then they can take complete advantage of the pool and several other kinds of facilities provided by the Taj hotel. Taking a dip in the pool is very much relaxing and the best part is that people can even go to the gym after it. Hence, this point is very much successful in terms of making the vacation the best possible experience for the people.
Everybody prefers to stay here: Another very important reason why you should plan your trip to stay in this particular hotel only because this hotel is the first preference of all the celebrities and heads of the states and many of them have already stayed over there. The list is very long and includes President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, John Lennon, Oprah Winfrey, and several other famous personalities. Hence, witnessing great interior and architecture is a great idea with the help of this concept and you must always fulfill your overall dream of staying it to a very lovely place by booking a room in Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai.
The location of the hotel is too good: The Taj Mahal Palace is located at the most famous landmark of the city which is the Gateway of India and everything else worth checking in Mumbai is only 10-15 minutes taxi ride from here hence, the prime location of the hotel is a great reason why you should prefer booking a room here.
Hence, for your next trip if you are planning to visit Mumbai then you must book a room in Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai to avail of all the above-mentioned advantages.