Business in the style of Habr. Start

    Hi, habrasociety.

    After reading this post, I decided to insert my five cents in the My Business section. Not so much because of an invite, but because of a desire to share your thoughts, maybe be useful to someone on the topic of “your business”. Further many letters.

    My knowledge in this direction, although not comprehensive, is far from theoretical. Since 2004, I have been working in "my" business. Now I own two companies that I created from scratch. The address delivery service, which distributes printed materials (newspapers, receipts, advertising) to mailboxes (not electronic, but real), with a total number of employees of more than 150 people ( and the Chelyabinsk factory “Double-glazed window” for translucent structures (windows, facades, partitions, etc.). The total monthly income that I receive as dividends from these companies is a five-digit amount in American money. Hopefully will be a six figure soon. I agree, business is not related to the IT sector, but in my opinion, doing business is subject to the same rules,

    I will clarify right away that everything that is written here is not a ready-made recipe for how to organize your business in three days without investing money and without getting up off the couch. I will not give advice on how to look for investors, recruit staff, look for customers, etc. This makes no sense. The algorithm does not exist. Each project is unique as the fate of a person and that is good for a Russian ... Well, in general, you understand. I want to outline a list of topics that you need to think about at the stage of thinking and planning your business.

    So. The simplest and least risky way to organize your business is to “squeeze customers”. What it is? Suppose you work in a company and are engaged in, say, selling glass. You know all your customers and suppliers, you know the volume of glass sales, the seasonality of demand, you personally know the managers of glass factories and the employees of the customer supply department. You sell them a glass car every day, and one day a bright thought comes to your mind: to save (borrow) money, buy glass and sell it to the same customers, but on behalf of your company, putting the difference in your wallet. It’s even easier if you work as a programmer, designer or other specialist in the IT industry. Here you do not even need to look for money to purchase goods. But another difficulty arises, you have to complete the whole project, which is not always possible, since in large companies, as a rule, several people work on a project, and they will have to agree with them. However, the advantages of this option are obvious. You can work simultaneously for yourself and at the place of your main job, increasing income and reducing risks. With the proper approach, such a joint activity can last quite a long time, and by that time your business will have time to stand firmly on its feet and bring a steady income.

    The above option, however, is not always possible for obvious reasons. The option remains to start from scratch. It is up to you to decide whether to immediately abandon self-employed work, or in parallel with self-employed work. In the first case, you will achieve more results, since there will be no fallback option, in the second case, you will not be left without funds if the project does not work (and it certainly will not work if you select the second option). In any case, you need to start with what you understand, try to raise your project first, before investing in others. Save a ton of money.

    Now I’ll say a commonplace thing that for some reason many people ignore it, starting to work, and then they are upset that they are burning out, faster than they have time to do something. At the first stage of the development of the company it is necessary to negate the fixed costs. There should be no expenses not directly related to the process of making money. No representation or administrative expenses. No secretaries, you will not have so many calls in the first days that you yourself will not have time to answer them. And make your own coffee. There are no offices in class A business centers. If an office is really needed (Is it necessary, is it possible to put a fax at home.), Remove the cheapest, or even the ground floor apartment in a residential building (this does not apply to a business whose success depends on starting up dust in the eyes of the client - jewelry stores, financial pyramids, etc.). No salaries. All employees are on the deal. How much has earned - so much has received. Where to find anyone? I do not know. Search everywhere. Students, part-time jobs, etc. Ideally, try to do without employees at all. Subcontract work (to freelancers, contractors, etc.), naturally leaving yourself a financial delta. In general, your goal in the first time (as well as in the second and third) is to get as much money as possible, spending as little as possible. This is precisely the goal of the business. The expenses for a smart office and a pretty secretary are expenses from profit. No profit - no expenses. Many for some reason forget about it. Ideally, try not to invest your money at all. Pay the supplier after receiving an advance payment from the buyer, employees after completing work, etc. Be sure to work at first only on a prepayment basis. If the client does not pay with a large company, she will be upset; if she does not pay with a small one, she may go broke. Do not think that this is impossible. It is possible, we are working this way now. If the client is afraid to make prepayments (“we are working for the first time with you and are not sure of the quality of your work or goods”), offer him a partial prepayment, but the amount of this prepayment should cover ALL YOUR COSTS FOR PERFORMING THIS ORDER (materials, salaries ... ) In extreme cases, you will not earn anything, but you will not lose. but the amount of this prepayment should cover ALL YOUR COSTS FOR PERFORMING THIS ORDER (materials, salaries ...). In extreme cases, you will not earn anything, but you will not lose. but the amount of this prepayment should cover ALL YOUR COSTS FOR PERFORMING THIS ORDER (materials, salaries ...). In extreme cases, you will not earn anything, but you will not lose.

    Many young firms that are just entering the market try to appear large and famous. This is logical, a small child also wants to seem like an adult and imitates them in everything. But I think this is stupid in business. Counterparties are not idiots and can always check the date of registration of your company. Those who need only promoted brands as partners, are still not your customers, but the rest is better to honestly say that we are a start-up company, but our specialists are very good, they worked before ... (here you can mention several well-known companies in your industry ), and therefore it is very pleasant and profitable to work with us because of this and that ...

    One more obvious rule follows from this. Never agree to unprofitable or non-profitable projects in order to “hook” the customer “in the long run”. We’ll make an order now at a loss, we’ll hook the client, and then we will start making money on it. Do not start if you did not start right away. Many large, wealthy companies pay their employees to find firms that would do the job for them for a nominal fee, based on a never-coming prospect. In many ways, therefore, these firms are large and wealthy.

    If you decide to start a joint business with a friend or investor, agree on everything “ashore”. Do not think that you will agree when there will be something to share. The agreement should be as specific and understandable to both parties as possible (preferably written). For example: the distribution of net profit between me and a friend will be 50% by 50% or 30% by 70% (in this case, it is still necessary to prescribe how this net profit will be calculated, since the parties can put different concepts into this term). It is not worth agreeing that the parties will receive a percentage of the profits proportional to their contribution to the development and / or activity of the company. Then you are tormented by arguing who invested how much, especially if investments are expressed not only in monetary terms, but also in property and time spent.

    And further. Once you decide to start your own business, forget who you were in your “past life”. Suppose you were a good programmer and would like to continue moving in your favorite direction, but you’re tired of working for an “uncle”. Become a freelancer. The day you decide to start your business will be the day you write your last line of code. You will have to do business. Search for customers, negotiate with suppliers, optimize taxes ... Business is not work from 9.00 to 18.00 with a lunch break. Business is a lifestyle. There will be no time free from business. Even outdoors in barbecue, you will mentally return to current projects or promising contracts, pondering the details. You will have to read books (I especially recommend Alexander Derevitsky, and Alex Levitas, there are a lot of their books on the Internet) about sales, marketing, business processes, tax schemes ... One can get rid of a business only by getting rid of it. Could it be easier to work for hire?

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