Monday, December 20, 2010

Industriousness and Enthusiam

This is straight from Coach John Wooden's books, articles, thoughts, etc. for coaching a successful basketball team and it also applies to any organization. If you are going to start a business and be successful at it for the long term, these two concepts are the building block for success, and the foundation for the pyramid of success he is famous for and lets others freely copy and use. Merely reading what he has written will drastically improve the way you conduct your life. Moreover, I believe so strongly in what he is saying that I promote his ideas as a foundation for business success.
Do not even think about going into a business you are not enthusiastic about and can't wait to improve and work hard and long on everyday of the week. I don't believe you can force yourself to work hard at something you hate without a severe emotional cost. I won't name names here but someone who worked for me repeatedly told me how he hated the job he was doing, but had to do it for the support of his family. I told him I thought it was admirable and proper to perservere but that he should at least plan for a way to get out and do something enjoyable and meaningful to him.
Think about the admired and well run businesses out there that you enjoy patronizing. Consider The Container Store, which could be just another place to get "containers", staffed by unmotivated clock punchers. It instead has people eager to please and committed to doing a good job, and is a place you feel welcome. You don't wish to drastically overpay, but you aren't buying there on price alone. Think about a craftsman who enjoys his work, devotes long hours to do excellent work above and beyond his contract, develops a reputation over many years and eventually has all the work he can do, and enjoys doing it. Don't you think he is happy and successful. Isn't that the position you envision for your own business? It comes from doing what you enjoy and work hard at willingly.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Adequate Risk Capital

I've got news for you. Every time I've bought a new business, I've had a few suprises on how much money I would need. Whatever the projections were, I needed more. Whether it is from opportunities which I believe the previous owner wasn't interested in, or the performance of the previous owner wasn't as easy as it looked, I've found at least a few situations that cried out for more spending. My justification was that by spending early on, I would reap benefits later. It is really only obvious once you start actually taking control.
I believe the exact amount is relative to the revenues and it has to be money you can afford to not touch for a long time. To begin with, the first month may be worse than you expected, because all the receivables stayed with the old owner. You have to plan for that. You also need working capital to make payroll, pay for supplies, rent, wait for people to pay you, etc. Your bills will come due, believe me. I think you need about two months revenue minus profit. That is the only way to prepare for the contigencies.
If you agree with me that you will need that much, I'm sad to say that it has to be subtracted from the purchase price you can pay, thereby reducing then size of business you can acquire. So, if you have an amount (x) available to buy a place (presumably in the form of a down payment, don't buy anything that someone, preferably a bank but if no one else at least the seller, won't finance a decent portion of) ( how do I say that without ending the sentence with a preposition?)
For the entire purchase price, including the working capital, make sure you can live without it if you fail! Many a (now) famous business owner has gone bust in a business proposition before the success he became famous for later.
You must leave your families living expenses, at a minimum, out of the business no matter what!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Adequate Personal Capital

I define adequate personal capital as 6 months worth of after tax expenses in easily accessible liquid form, plus 10% of your yearly income saved (each year of your working life, start at 20) and  invested. So, if you are fifty and have averaged 100 thousand bucks a year, you should have at least 300,000 in net worth plus a reasonable rate of interest to have compounded that obviously higher. This is what you must have at a minimum in my opinion. If you don’t have that, then stop. I haven’t seen too many successful businessmen or women who overspend and do not save. If you can’t save – work for someone else!
If you are still reading and have saved your money, the next hurdle is this: You probably need to go the first year without taking anything out of the business, and still maintaining your cushion of 6 months. I don’t care if you spend your whole bankroll on the business if you are the risky type (I’m not and I don’t recommend this but it is your money to risk) but leave that last year and a half worth of capital out of the business. Trust me, you will probably need it. By the time you start making a little money after that first year, you will be down to 6 months cash cushion. If you can’t see that you will be making money at that point – well – you are in an emergency situation and need to prepare for trouble.
OK, so you know people who started with nothing and are rich. Good for them – but most businesses fail for lack of capital so you have been warned.

What do You Need to Know and Have in the Bank to Start or Buy a Business?

The answer to the question I get alot about starting a business will be answered in several sections. You will need some combination of the following to get my encouragement to start your own business:
1. Adequate personal capital
2. Adequate risk capital
3. Industriousness and enthusiam (borrowed from Coach John Wooden)
4. Take over (via leveraged buyout) a business you’ve had a significant profit and loss role in with 3 consecutive years of profits
5 Expert skills which will keep you ahead of the competition
6 Some appropriate combination of the above that will give you a sustainable competitive advantage
7 Successful track record owning a different business
8 Reasonable expectations of growth
I’m going to answer these one by one, and maybe add a few other points if I think of them later. The actual yes or no answer is mostly dependent on these factors, but I’d need to personally talk to you to try to shoot down your dream – as a favor to you I’ll try to stop you if I think it is a bad idea.

Adequate Personal Capital

Whoops -out of order - I'll repost later!

I told you this would be shameless commercialism!

Why did I tell you that? Wasn't it so obvious that anyone could see it?
Well, I thought it would be amusing when you see the obvious site linking going on - so get ready!


What is Chlorine Shock Treatment for a Cloudy Pool?

The water in a pool can become cloudy for many reasons. Normal use can turn a pool cloudy; it does not mean that the pool is diseased. Airborne contaminants can contribute to the cloud in a pool. Naturally occurring body oils or products used on the body can also make the water cloudy. There is a normal amount of bacteria present in a swimming pool as well. Usually the culprit in a cloudy pool is a combination of all of these. In Texas, where pools can be used for longer periods of time than in other regions, cloudy water happens frequently. A pool builder in Austin can help clean up the water.
Swimming pools need regular maintenance to keep them from becoming cloudy. This is called shock treatment. The most common form of shock treatment is chlorine shock treatment. Chlorine acts to sanitize the water by killing an overabundance of bacteria and breaking down other contaminants in the water. Chlorine shock treatments are needed regularly because the chlorine level goes down with time. A shock of chlorine raises the level temporarily and cleans the water. A pool builder in Austin can supply the correct amounts and frequency for this treatment.
A pool builder in Austin can sell ‘shocks’ that are prepackaged with the proper chemical balances and amounts so the process is simple. The shock can be poured into a five gallon bucket of clean water and stirred thoroughly. The mixture is then poured into the pool by walking along the edge of the pool while pouring. This evenly distributes the chlorine mixture. The swimming pool pump should be run for about twelve hours continuously or until the cloud clears. To prevent further clouding, remove any scum on the surface of the water or debris on the bottom of the pool. Debris and scum encourages bacterial growth and the water will become cloudy again soon.
For the most part, pool owners can do shock treatments by themselves, but some caution must be exercised. Follow the direction of the pool builder in Austin carefully. Do not mix any chemicals unless instructed to do so. Always wear gloves and other protective gear when working with the shock. It can easily damage skin, clothing, etc. The shock may settle to the bottom of the pool before it has a chance to do its thing, so stirring the water up a bit can help with this.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why just pick on Jets coach Alosi?

What he did was wrong, sure. But here is a little secret for you. When I played football, when you got tackled, the other team would kick, bite, spit and punch the other guys. That is also poor sportsmanship. What about the massive amounts of aspirin, ibupofen, and acetomenophine guys would take before games, not to mention marijuana, amphetamines, etc prior to games? It was all also cheating. So, don't single that guy out - talk about the entire culture of the game and winning without honor.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Irony of Hypermilers - They waste the gas of others!

How do hypermilers waste other people gas, while saving their own? Well, they are particularly proud of the fact that when they coast up to a stop light, they force others to do the same, supposedly saving lots of gas. But what about the poor slobs who miss the next light because the hypermilers clogged up traffic? What about someone wanting to get into the queue, sitting there idling on a side street? When the hypermilers create a long line, it is harder to get in - sometimes forcing other poor lost souls to idle for an extra traffic light cycle.  All that extra idling wouldn't have happened without the "gas saving" hypermilers! But, the extra idling wastes someone else's gas! So, is that ironic or what?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shameless Commercialism

Some people shamelessly promote their websites.
Dont you think they should come up some useful content about pools, for instance?
Talk about swimming pool parties and the like. Diving boards, pool filters, Austin pool, don't just stuff a bunch of keywords and expect to get rich.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Swimming Pool Water Chemistry

Lets say you already own a swimming pool and want to get the chemistry right.
Your local pool supply store should have a knowledgeable person there to teach you the basics and sell you the safety equipment, chemicals, testers, etc, that you need.
You might also consider using a salt water pool chlorine generator.


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