I could not resist posting these jokes. If you know any good jokes about accountants, send them to me (and if our staff laughs at them) they will be posted in the future.
HOT AIR BALLOON
A man piloting a hot air balloon discovers that he has wandered of course and is hopelessly lost. He descends to a lower altitude and locates a man on the ground. He lowers the balloon further and shouts. “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?’
The man below says, “Yes, you are in a hot air balloon, about thirty feet above this field.”
‘You must be an accountant,” says the balloonist.
‘Yes I am” exclaims the man. “And how do you know that.”
‘Well” says the balloonist, “what you tell me is technically correct, but of no use to anyone.”
The man below says, “You must be a manager.”
“Well yes I am” replies the balloonist, “how did you know?”
“Well’, says the accountant, “you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, but you expect my immediate help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault.”
An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. “Doctor, I just can’t get to sleep at night.”
“Have you tried counting sheep?”
“That’s the problem – I make a mistake and then spend 3 hours trying to find it.”
After I wrote and posted the earlier blog entry, I went back and reread it and felt that something was missing. I now believe that there are some entrepreneurial ideas that are evolving so rapidly that each day almost requires a new plan. In the Hi-tech world, that is often the case. So if that is your dreamed of ‘path-to-riches’ you may just fly ‘by-the-seat-of-your-pants (skirt)’. Remember though, if you intend to raise funds (watch for that topic on a future blog in the New Year); you are going to need a business plan. Also for those of you who develop a business plan at the beginning, don’t just put it on a shelf, go back – at least once a year – and reread it. Determine if you are on track as you had intended. If not, it may be time to update the plan. A good time to reread and rethink the business plan is in January….
“The process of developing an annual plan should establish priorities for the coming year and become the basis for action”.
Call me at 416-488-1801 for any assistance – even just to be a sounding board.
Recently, a self-styled entrepreneur came to our office to ask me a question. He was referred to AYTL by an acquaintance who had built a successful SME (small business enterprise) and had used me as a mentor. The problem he explained was that his business idea had not taken off as he had believed it should. Before throwing in the towel, he wanted to know what he had done or not done that caused the idea to fail. He believed that he fit the criteria as laid out in Blog 11 – ‘JUST DO IT’ and could not understand where he went wrong.
After a brief discussion it was clear where he erred. No initial BUSINESS PLAN!
If one is planning a journey by car, one first ensures that the vehicle is in good working order and that the driver has been properly trained and licensed in the operation of the vehicle. Then one either consults a map or GPS and follows the instructions to reach the destination. Even if small detours are made along the way, consulting the map or GPS will bring one back on course. In the case of the young entrepreneur there was no ‘path’ laid out initially. The individual just started the business and made decisions as it went along – many of which caused the business to go off track and eventually falter.
Enough said—how does one make a business plan? I could spell out all the details here, however there are numerous web sites and software that can do it in far greater detail. My suggestion is to Google Enterprise Toronto and attend one of their ‘Business Plan Boot Camp’ (the next one comes up January 13, 2015). In just a few hours you will gain all the basics and you will be able to create your personalized business plan for your office.
If you are still puzzled and need help, we are here to assist. Over the years, AYTL has produced numerous business plans for a wide variety of different businesses. Remember, if you have a toothache you go to a dentist. Even medical professionals from other disciplines go to a specialist. So if you have a particular talent and you are not a ‘numbers’ person, use a pro—-call us at 416.488.1801!
And by-the-way: The errant entrepreneur showed his resilience and common sense in asking for help and direction. AYTL was able to key in on his successes and eliminate his faults and he is now showing headway and getting back on track.
So you read Blog # 10 – ‘Just Do It’ and you feel that now you are ready. You believe you have a unique idea for a business and you have saved up some money and you are confident that it is NOW or NEVER. What is the next step?
- Don’t quit your job and go ‘all in’. Why is this the first step? Because if you think that now is the time to ‘go-for-it’, remember you still have to eat and put a roof over your head. Some of us may go and live in our parent’s basement while we sow the seeds for our future fortune, but not all of us have that luxury. So keep your job and your paycheck while you work every spare moment on laying a firm foundation for the future.
- Make a business plan. Next week I will devote the complete blog on how to make a business plan. You probably have been thinking about your future ‘business’ for a while so now is the time to commit your ideas to paper. Once your idea is committed to paper, make a realistic list of what you will need to achieve your dream. These lists will form the basis for the business plan.
- Talk to a pro. Find a mentor, advisor, accountant, elder, etc. who has ‘been-there-and-done-that’. It will serve you well to discuss your ideas with someone else, if only to see if you can turn your thoughts into words.
- Don’t spend any money – yet! All the above should not cost you anything.
By now you are getting excited. Go back and reread # 1 above. You are still not ready! You are probably rehearsing your presentation to the Dragons on Dragons’ Den. Not so fast. Watch the program a few times and you will see that the only ones that succeed have a well thought out plan and can present their ideas and answer questions in a cohesive and rehearsed manner. If you can’t and you do audition and get on, The Dragons will cut you up if you are not prepared. So do your homework before you take that step.
If you would like to discuss your ideas or plans and require an experienced sounding board, call us at 416.488.1801 – we can help!