Tag Archive | Running a business

Frugal living: transferable to a business?

Okay, this might be  a bit of a laugh but here are 10 tips to live frugally I found on a blog recently. Could any of these be transferred to your business? Enjoy

6 traits of successful small businesses

Here’s a recent article from Inc. magazine on some research which tries to identify the characteristics of successful small business.

Guardian Life Report Identifies Six Traits of Successful Small Businesses.

Don’t loose sight of profits and cash flows – how Lego revived its outlook

The Danish toy company Lego, has had to do a bit of re-building of late, according to Time (June 7th, 2010). Lego has been around since 1932 and has given many generations endless hours of fun (or peace if your a parent!). The product was created by an unemployed Danish carpenter (Ole Kirk Christiansen) and he patented it in 1958. Today, as anyone with kids knows, there are so many high-tech toys that compete with traditional toys like Lego, which has education and learning at its heart. This in fact was one of the contributors to Lego making large losses (e.g. $450 million in 2004) – focusing too much on the educational value of its 14,000 unique stock items. In 2004, a new CEO Jorgen Knudstorp, took the helm. He quickly reinvigorated the company by not forgetting one of the basic lessons of accounting and managing a business – the bottom line counts. There were lay-offs, plant closures and new licensing deals (Star Wars, Harry Potter for example) and some efforts to adapt the product to the digital age e.g. an online website where children can design their own creation and order a physical copy. The result – profits were $440 million in 2009. So don’t forget, now matter how good your product or service is, it can only survive if the bottom line is positive and generating cash!
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How to use Kickstarter to launch a business

As a small business, getting finance is always a big problem- even more so nowadays with poorer economic times. And let’s not say too much about the banks! An alternative funding source to get you off the ground might be crowd funding. What you ask? Well, the basic idea is to get a “crowd” of people to all provide a small amount of money to help start your business venture. So if you needed €2,000 to kick start you venture, could you get 200 people to “donate” €10 each – I say donate as they may not get any return from it.  But where’s the crowd you ask? Well, social networking is the “in thing” nowadays it seems. You could use you business and social networking contacts as a start. If this is not sufficient, there are some websites out there you may help. Kickstarter.com is one such site  ( here’s a recent piece from inc.com “How to Use Kickstarter to Launch a Business“.  While such site are in their infancy and may still be more common in the US than Europe, don’t rule them out straight away. Crowd financing may be a viable answer to those smaller one-off ventures, but you know what, sometime these turn into a great and booming business.

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Small business cash flow – a week from a business owners’ diary

One of the most common issues in small business today is cash flow. As sales decrease and consumers have less cash, smaller businesses are finding it difficult to get paid in some cases. I have spoken to 3 or 4 small business owners here (in Ireland) in the past week or so and while they are all “ticking over”, they all recounted difficulties in getting paid – none are cash only businesses.  Some are sailing quite close to the wind with their bank overdrafts. Trying to live within the overdraft limit can become a daily task. And of course, it’s a viscous circle and both suppliers and customers are often experiencing similar cash flow issues.

To relate the kind of problems businesses are facing, and maybe you’ll get some help here, read the 5 blog posts by Paul Downs in the NYTimes.  He has a small cabinet making business in Pennsylvania. Yes, ok it’s a US example, but the problems are the same as those in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe at the moment.  Here’s a link to the first post from a week in Paul’s business.

My Week in Cash Flow: Monday – You’re the Boss Blog – NYTimes.com.

Links to the other four posts follow on from the above link.

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The management style of Eugene H. Krabs

Ok, this post was written in the NYTimes  Blogs on April 1st, but anyone with younger kids know’s the love Eugene Krabs (from SpongeBob Squarepants) has for cash.

The Management Styles of Harold Hooper, Cosmo G. Spacely, and Eugene H. Krabs – Youre the Boss Blog – NYTimes.com.

As someone once said, cash is king!

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How to track the “Critical Numbers” in your business

I read an article recently from Inc Magazine -“How to Track Your Company’s Critical Numbers” – which a useful piece on how to watch the key numbers in your business.  The article emphasises the need to achieve a balance between having a good accountant, and not being too reliant on them at the same time.  You don’t need to be an accountant yourself to keep a track on key figures and ratios in your business.

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