Kevin Kemper has graciously shared a sneak peak at his new book "Assured Entrepreneurial Success". With 65 chapters it's well worth the read ... and is chock full of an education you won't get anywhere else. Below is a few personal words from Kevin himself, plus an excerpt from the book to wet your whistle ....
Please excuse the “pie in the sky” aim of this book’s title, this guide has taken about 30 years to write.
I have worked for many retail firms, been in the military, been married and traveled to several nations, from whose and which perspectives I “borrowed” to see how American firms can do better.
I have also been a small business consultant for 4 decades, doing far too much pro-bono work to help people get their business started, expanded or fixed. Sometimes, like a pastor, getting someone “there” has been more important for me than making sure I was reasonably and timely remunerated.
Philosophy of Reasons for wanting to be self-employed ....
According to your author (and other experts), the reasons you have for entering self-employment must be VALID if you are to have much likelihood for success. I'll now take you through an analysis of VALID vs INVALID reasons for entering self-employment.
Having valid reasons doesn't insure your success (the author can assure your success, but you must adhere to all the precepts of this book and any other directions the author gives you if you accept his offer of an assurance of success.)
Uniquely, having invalid reasons doesn't assure you of failure though it will likely hurt you over time as will be distinctly pointed out throughout this book.
Also, a "valid" reason will tend to assure you of a greater likelihood of success whenever things get "difficult." By difficult I mean when employees quit and suppliers change costs and availability at the most inconvenient times and when items are most in demand (for those of you carrying manufactured supplied inventory.
Professionalism in self-employment is anything but an '8 to 5 job." If you enter self-employment with valid reasons, you will weather difficult times much more easily than if your beginning reasons were invalid.
Truly, validity in entrepreneurship makes the difficulties simply doors to more opportunities. Invalidity in entrepreneurship, when things are 'going wrong' will make you wish you stayed in bed, just like you often feel when working for someone you don't really want to work with.
The reason 'validity' will help assure success is that you, the merchant-to-be, will be motivated to take corrective steps to solve problems before problems become serious. Invalid reasons for wanting to be an entrepreneur will likely contribute towards making you, the merchant-to-be, part of the statistics on failures that flood the federal bankruptcy courts nationwide.
This book then, could, perhaps, have an additional purpose; keeping you out of bankruptcy court. (Helping you put money into your pocket and keeping it there!)
A valid reason for anything means it has been thought through and is defended well and can therefore guide others (in self-employment, this includes counselors, attorneys and accountants) who can further guide you.
Valid reasons people have offered me/themselves, over the past 50 years, for wanting to enter self-employment .....
1. An increase in take-home pay.
2. A site preference.
3. A marketing plan to capture a certain percent (%) of a market.
4. Anger with the boss.
5. Have exclusive (a license for) use of a new technology.
6. Ideal work/employment field (area of interest) unavailable.
7. Am an alien.
8. Am retired.
9. Am handicapped.
10. Am a hobbyist (and just get a kick out of doing something).
These are all logical reasons for wanting to be self-employed, but are invalid by themselves! None of them yet speaks about what you are going to do for a "clientele base".
You have read 10 reasons why many people think of being self-employed. Let me disclose why most of these reasons, by themselves, are considered inadequate for wanting to open or buying a small business, why these reasons can't be defended.
"Why" must be defended and become "valid" (good)if you want your likelihood of success in self-employment to be high. Let's cover the defect in each of the ten reasons listed above and see how, if possible, these reasons can be modified or changed to become "valid."
The reasons people choose to become self-employed are ....
1. An increase in take-home pay. You need more! This is not, by itself, a reason for self-employment! For the first few months (or years) you can physically draw money from cash flow (gross sales). If you do so, you will likely hurt a business you start. If you buy a going business, I would wait 3-6 months before drawing a salary until you know how your demographics, your marketing and your management style are going to be perceived and accepted.
2. A site preference. Most real estate agents, both commercial and residential, will suggest that location, location and location are the three most important considerations in acquiring property (for rent or purchase). There are some good reason for considering the location of any property, but like the firm's innovativeness or pricing or any of the other "matrix" items of a business, no single consideration (location) can be considered significantly more important than the others.
Two examples will help demonstrate the exceptions to the rule of ideal or best locations.
When I was a pre-teen aged boy, my father worked for a bar named Charlie's Penthouse in San Francisco. It had only one entrance (a grand-fathered commercial site) and this was on an alley-way. If one weren't a resident (most likely with several years residency) of the city, one would likely not know how to find it. Did it make money? Plenty! Those who were natives knew where Charlie’s was and went in droves!
A second establishment was a restaurant and bar. I found this place by accident! I was driving home to Sacramento, CA., after visiting Folsom Lake, CA. About 10-20 miles south west of the lake, at a cross-roads in the middle of NOWHERE, sat this building with a restaurant and bar. Venturing into it, I found a reservation-only place of business and they were booked two months ahead of time! Again, those who knew passed the word around. It could have been located anywhere, it was simply where it was. People would have driven 50-100 miles to eat and drink there.
Therefore, a site preference for a business without having done one's homework as to type of business, a semi or formal survey to confirm customers exist who would consider doing business with you and that your atmosphere, price, quality are what customers want and enough would shop with you to make YOUR SITE and its accommodated business attractive and profitable, would be an invalid reason to be self-employed.
Answer or solve the above requirements and you turn the site preference into a bona fide reason for self-employment and your site reason becomes valid!
3. A marketing plan to capture a certain percent (%) of a market. A marketing plan may be the best reason of the 10 listed, to open a business, but a marketing plan to capture business by itself, like site preference, is inadequate. Let me explain.
Let's say that you have available an attachment to a solar water heater. This attachment allows water to have its temperature changed higher or lower within 15 minutes to 20 degrees higher or lower, and the device can be invented, perfected and be ready to compete with something else on the market that sells for 300% more and the profits will be 75% on sales (excellent!) Further research also discloses that only 25 solar cells are sold monthly, there are only 5,000 nationwide, and expected sales of the cells are 300 annually for 10 years. Capturing 35% of this market at a cost of $250,000 would be prohibitive if the profit is $35.00 for each item. The start-up costs would be high ($75,000 is our example), the time to reach your market would be long (3 years), and the total market (8,000) is insignificant to make it worth your while, even if you could sell to 35% (it was presumed you could capture 25% and the competition gets 15% now) of all the past and future users. (Not all users of these cells will use your attachment. If you sold them via a license agreement to the original cell manufacturer, you may be better off. Therefore, in this situation of capturing a majority percentage of a market is an inadequate reason for becoming self-employed.
For more you're just going to have to get Kevin's new book ... when it's available. ;)
Kevin Kemper is owner of Entrepreneurial Consulting as well as an adunct professor at numerous institutes of higher learning. If you're interested in tapping into Kevin's 40 plus years of experience as a management consultant helping small businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide succeed ... simply email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.