Entrepreneurship tips for small businesses in 2017 – Rework by Jason Fried | Book review
So, lately, I’ve been posting much less content on my blog and my social media account (and by much less, I mean nothing – I know, I know – I shouldn’t allow this, but it is what it is).
The main reason for that is – I’ve been swamped with work since I’ve been in the process of starting my very first company – a web development and online marketing firm, called Piksl. This will not be my side project, but in the foreseeable future, the core of my business, and my biggest professional priority. So, I’ve been busy with developing everything needed to start my business, finding new clients and working on the projects (so-far, I’m happy to say I’ve been pretty successful!).
Well, because I’m very serious about my new business, I’ve been reading, watching and learning a lot about running a business and starting a company – I want to do this right and want to start a very successful story with this business of mine – not necessarily financially super-successful, but in terms of having clients that are happy with my work and get a lot of value out of it, in terms of having happy and satisfied employees, and of course, me being happy with my own life and with what I do.
While learning about entrepreneurship from various online-mentors, I came across a PHENOMENAL book, that offers a very different insight into running a business, that is much more suited for today’s day and age, compared to traditional business books. It’s adapted to the new, online-oriented work and it offers a ton of practical value to every entrepreneur, blogger, digital marketer, etc.
So, I decided to point out a couple of my favorite lessons from the book, in hopes that it will help more people to be more successful with their businesses. If you’ll find the book interesting, I definitely recommend for you to go and read the entire book – HERE is the link to the book, and below is the link to the method through which you can get three audiobooks, by your choice, for absolutely free:
Entreprenership tips for small businesses| Book review
How to run a small business in 2017 - Rework by Jason Fried
First things first – how did I come across this book?
I was listening to Mark Cuban, a super-successful business-man, a billionaire, and a really smart entrepreneur. He reads a ton of books – he reads pretty much every day, often for a couple of hours a day. And he always talks about the importance of reading books – he claims that they are the reason why he’s as successful as he is right now.
He recommended this book, Rework, as one of the most important and the best business books that exist. Not only that, he claimed, that if he was looking for an employee, and one of them had a very impressive CV and education, and the other one read this book, he would choose the one that read this book.
That’s when I said to myself that this book has to be something special, and decided to read it (well, listen to it), for myself.
And it’s a special book for sure.
So, I’ll go over a couple of the most interesting lessons that I’ve learned from this book – so I can share the ideas and also, so you can see if this is a book for you as well!
Times have changed - the old ways of running a business don’t work that well anymore!
You don’t need a business plan. As a matter of fact, you will get more negatives than positives from having a business plan.
Quite a statement to start off with, right? This was one of the first statements in the book that really caught my attention and gave me something to think about.
Today, the entire world, the way we do business and the marketing methods, change super-fast. I mean, who could’ve predicted, just 5 years ago, that the majority of marketing budget would go into social media and mobile ads? And who could’ve predicted that some apps would take over massive industries like transportation (Über) and accommodation (Airbnb)? Not many, probably.
And there will be more and more changes in the market like that, ridiculously more changes than we can ever imagine. So, how can you plan for that? That’s right, you can’t. You can only guess.
That’s why planning can hold you back. You should focus much more on adapting your strategies to the current and the future state of the market than trying to follow a plan, that was made when the industry/the market/marketing was nothing like it is today.
Sure, planning your tasks in advance can be a good, even a necessary thing. But beware of planning any specifics for too far ahead. It can probably hold you back more than it can help you.
“Planning is guessing.”
“Plan for the week, not for the year.”
Are you sure that you need to grow and get bigger as a business? A lot of times, it’s a good thing to stay smaller.
Generally, for a huge majority of the businesses, the goal is to grow – get more employees, more clients, more projects, etc.
And while that is a good plan to have long-term, staying smaller, can benefit you a lot as well! You are much more flexible as a company, you can easily decide to change what and how you’re doing whatever you are doing.
You can easily change your products, marketing messages, and even business models! If there’s only you, and maybe a couple of more people involved, you can easily decide to even enter a different market, totally change the services you’re offering, etc. (Hell, you can even decide to pause all business activities for a month or go Hawaii:) ).
While, if you have a huge company with a lot of people on your payroll, that same thing can take you YEARS.
So growing your business is good and everything, but, unless you absolutely NEED new employees and more and more clients, it can be a good thing to hold back the growth a little bit, to stay more flexible as a company.
Be cautious of the biggest work interruptions of them all - MEETINGS.
This one is a controversial one. But I absolutely see a big point in it.
So, the best work that we, as business owners, and as workers in any kind of creative field, is the work we do, when we are focused on a specific task for longer periods of time. That’s a well-researched and studied fact.
So, it’s a smart thing to minimize the interruptions. Avoid checking emails every other minute. Have periods in the day when you don’t even check the phone, etc.
But the biggest interruption of them all – meetings! I can relate to that a lot – I certainly think that a lot of meetings could be … a couple of things:
– Avoided. I think that a lot of meetings that we have are not necessary and are a result of people not putting in the effort to work out certain things for themselves and put in the effort to communicate certain things via email.
– Cut shorter. I’m totally guilty of that – I’m aware that a lot of 1-hour and 1.5-hour meetings could be cut much shorter with a bit of preparation and cutting out the small-talk. And by inviting only people that are absolutely necessary there.
And the thing is, hours and hours of meetings each week, cost A LOT. Not only should you take a look at the value of your own time, but of everyone else involved. Often, companies have hours and hours of in-house meetings with over 5 people involved. That’s a lot of money’s worth right there.
Now, that’s definitely easier said than done. A lot of clients love to talk about off-topic things, small-talk, etc. so in order to cut the meetings shorter, you must be cautious not to insult them/feel unappreciated. So, cutting your meetings shorter and having less of them, can probably spare you a lot of money and give you better results. But be cautious how you go about it.
This will definitely be one of my biggest challenges as I start my own company as well.
Be human, be yourself.
I combined a couple of chapters into this lesson. The first chapter is about being yourself – don’t be afraid to talk to clients and business partners the same way you talk to your friends – the natural way to talk and act.
The artificial business-friendliness, the formal language, and the stiff-language is just not natural and it doesn’t help you to establish a relationship with your clients that is authentic and trustworthy. Your customers will actually appreciate you talking to them like a normal person.
“People love finding out the little secrets of all kinds of businesses…”
And the second chapter is about “going behind the scenes”. Showing your customers how you operate, your daily tasks, random insights of the days and activities in your company. It’ll bring your customers closer to you and help you build better relationships with them. You can do that by sharing videos, social media, blogs, etc.
Don't start a startup, start a business!
So many young entrepreneurs nowadays want to start a startup, not a company. The biggest difference between these two is, that with startups, you usually get fundings from other people and businesses, and if you start a business, you want to make a profitable … well, business.
Getting funded sounds amazing – yaaaay, free money, right? Well, not exactly.
By getting people to invest into your startup, you will also need to answer to them, and immediately, it will stop being about you doing what you believe in and want to do, but it will be about making the decisions that your investors will approve.
Not only that, if you start a business and if you want to start a successful one, you will need to think long-term. And most of the startup investors won’t want too long for the profits to come back to them, which is opposite of what your business might need for the long-term success.
Of course, fundings can be amazing and make-or-break your startup, but be cautious. Me personally, I wouldn’t want to answer to anyone else about my decisions – after all, that’s why most of us started our own, businesses – to do what we personally believe in, right!?
Decisions = progress. Don’t think about it, decide on it!
This is a difficult concept to grasp at first, but I truly do believe in it, and as much as I’ve practiced it, I find it to be very true.
It is a pretty known saying, that the difference between successful and unsuccessful people, is often, very simply, the number of decisions that they make. Not even the correctness of the decision, but simply the number of decisions. Why is that so?
Well, often we think about the decisions that we need to make for hours, for days even. And then we make a decision, that may be right or not, but there’s a good chance, that if you decided quickly, based on your instincts, you would be just as right/wrong.
But the main difference is, that by making your decisions quicker, you will make more decisions, and instead of thinking about the decision, you will actually decide on it and spend that time on acting on it. And by doing that, you will try out so many more methods, platforms, and ideas, and you will actually know what works for you and what doesn’t. So, instead of theorizing and guessing about what might work or not, you will get into a habit of deciding on it and then testing it. And in the long run, this will be a massive difference.
So, here are only 5 lessons out of the book that stuck with me the most. But there are much more lessons in the book that will provide you with valuable ideas and insights.
The book is also really easy and interesting to read/to listen to. If you enjoyed the book, and feel like you can get some value out of it, you can get it here: http://amzn.to/2htg00d
And again, here’s how you can get any 3 audiobooks for free:
By the way, you can check out my self-development library I’ve put together where you can find other great books for personal and business growth: SELF-DEVELOPMENT LIBRARY.
What are your thoughts on running small businesses? Are you a fan of older, traditional methods and principles, or do you agree with the ideas I wrote about above? I’d love to discuss that with you, so let me know what you think in the comment section below!