Posts About Business

Balancing a day job and starting a business

Many (lucky) entrepreneurs like myself need to work a day job while trying to start their business. A start-up doesn’t usually rake in the money immediately, so the bills need to be paid somehow.

I’ve made a few observations lately about where I’ve gone wrong in balancing my priorities over the past few years and how I want to adjust the course. I need to get this thing going!

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The need to document your business with policies and procedures

One of the most influential business books of all time, The E-Myth Revisited,¬†extols the virtues of documenting your business extensively. If your business doesn’t have an operations manual, then it’s not really a business. A business without documentation depends on the owner’s presence in order to run. That means no vacation, no sick days, and no retirement for the founder. The business owner basically becomes a slave to his customers.

At first glance, I am intimidated by the idea of documentation of this type. Web design and development changes rapidly. It’s insanely hard to keep up. Sometimes it feels like once I’ve finally mastered a technique, a new tool or technique comes along to replace it. But then again, this very problem makes me a slave to those very things.

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Prototyping a service

As many fields, products, and services are becoming commoditized, it’s become increasingly important to plan and implement a great customer experience. Much of this involves planning and gauging how your business makes your customer feel. Creating those “wow” moments aligned with your strategy is key.

Read on to find out what I’ve been learning from E-myth and Adaptive Path about how prototyping can be an effective tool for meeting these ends.

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Umair Haque on constructive capitalism

This is a story that I want to believe about where business is headed in the next few decades.

I like the idea that idealists will lead the real innovation/revolution. We’re already seeing it out of companies like 37signals and Google.

Spare 50 minutes and give this one a watch.

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Design first

I’m working on building an elaborate marketing and e-commerce system. I just don’t feel like anyone has done it right, so I’m taking a stab at it.

Here’s why I think the other software vendors have done such a poor job: lack of design in their process. I intend to make a system that’s pleasant and easy to use, that “gets out of the way” of users’ tasks. And I’m not going to get there without design.

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