100 Rules for Entrepreneurs: Real-life business lessons

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Harriman House Limited, 2010 - Business & Economics - 232 pages
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 COMPREHENSIVE, HARD-WON, NO-NONSENSE ADVICE

100 Rules for Entrepreneurs covers every aspect of business from the entrepreneur's point of view. Unlike other guides it avoids mere theorising. Instead, everything is tackled in light of the realities of business in the 21st century, and through the lens of serious entrepreneurial experience.

The rise of regulations, the impact of competition and the growth of globalisation means that start-ups have to be more flexible and robust than ever before in order to prevail. Mindful of this, Neil Lewis provides practical and original advice on:

- how to properly measure profit - and what a really sustainable business looks like (and how it can be grown)

- how to handle recruitment - and not only why freelance is the future, but how best to take advantage of it

- how to manage your management team, set effective goals for your business and prevent the rot from setting in

- the best time to sell your business (and how best to do it).

He also brings to bear his experiences on dealing with dividends, shareholders and other advanced aspects of running a start-up.

GRITTY WISDOM

Accessible and memorable - counterintuitive at times, at times reassuringly simple; refreshingly realistic throughout - 100 Rules is the ultimate companion for today's entrepreneur. It is the direct and hard-earned wisdom of an entrepreneur who has seen it all: the giddying heights of reaching a 12m valuation in eight years from a simple start in a back bedroom with a computer and 2,000; the dizzying descent of losing it all in two, and the work required to pick up and start, successfully, again.

 

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Contents

Just do it
3
Learn from your mistakes
5
Never blame the market
7
Take care of yourself
8
Know yourself
9
Measure success properly
13
Sharpen the saw
16
Make your passion your business
19
Do away with formal meetings
104
The team is the hero
105
Have a wise head on hand
106
Reward longterm value creation
107
Be wary of bonuses?
115
Use profitshare bonuses
116
Pay out some profits as dividends for directors
118
Keep two accounts
120

Nothing but the truth and quick
21
Dont pin your hopes on a premature retirement
22
Never work to save jobs
24
Avoid the weve just got to survive the recession fallacy
25
Proper profit is profit margin
27
The second goal of business is sustainability
29
How to set a businesssale goal
32
Run the business for dividends shareholder profit
35
Use the dividend cash flow to value your business
38
Focus on cashflow forecasts
39
Check your bank balance daily
40
Dont do guilt
41
Beg borrow and barter
42
Use winwin negotiation
43
Deliver your promises upfront
46
Keep collaborating
48
Run a tostop list
49
Freelance is best
51
Hire freelancers correctly
53
Constantly question whether you have the right people in the right roles
55
Hire better than you need
57
Grow only as fast as your resources allow
62
Hire hunger humble and hardworking not the best proud and expensive
65
Pay the right price for the person
66
Never overpromote
68
Meet the spouse for senior roles
70
Use references early in recruitment
71
Avoid job titles
73
Pay recruitment fees on success
75
Keep new roles temporary
77
Quality team equals low stress levels
79
When staff leave let them go without a fight
80
Commit to excellence fire the good
82
Measure team performance
86
Three months never says it all
90
Managers and recruitment
91
Making the KPIs solid
93
Poor performers get fired not made redundant
96
Deal with personnel problems immediately
98
Use great questions to tease out performance
100
Promote anyone who makes their job redundant
101
100 management support all the time
102
Know employees by their fruits
103
Pride goes before a fall
121
Dont diversify to escape trouble
122
Let go faster
124
Letting others have a go will help them develop greatness
125
Eliminate puff
126
Build your brand
128
Protect your brand and IP
130
Product brand product brand
132
Establish clear ownership of code content and process
133
Own your clients
134
Refocus your brand regularly
135
Measure resolutions as well as complaints
136
Rattle the cage to maintain excellence
138
Know your source of worldclass business excellence
139
Know your businesss economic engine
141
Ideas are cheap unless they are patentable
142
Live above the shop
146
Remember the risk to your reputation
147
Put it in writing and make sure you sign it
149
Understand fixed costs
154
Never let tax drive your decision making
155
Someone has already solved your problem
157
Put business before technology
161
Control credit
164
Tough decisions are the right ones
165
Plan your exit from your business
166
Avoid management and board meetings
170
Use the envelope test
175
Marketing comes first design second
176
Set in place a feedback loop
180
Solve problems with threeway conversations
182
Avoid shareholders
184
Never let family be shareholders
186
Debt is like a disease
190
Build a strong nonexec team prudently
193
Understand the three stages of a business
194
No share options
197
Let yourself be ousted at the right price
199
Cease trading before it is too late
201
Choose the right opportunity
210
Business comes business goes youll always be an entrepreneur
213
Postscript
215
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Neil Lewis is a media entrepreneur and business leader based in the North West of England. A partner in MediaModo and the driving force behind new digital magazines, business events and entrepreneur accreditation assessments, Neil has over 22 years experience in publishing and business investment.His specialist skills include business strategy, online publishing and media plus business investment and start-ups.Neil regularly speaks at university and entrepreneurial networking events where he shares what he has learnt from his experiences. MediaModo offer recently won a North West Development Agency grant to develop a new entrepreneurial accreditation scheme that will revolutionise the way investors and entrepreneurs work together.

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