Some of you will remember my post earlier this month breaking the news of the Hundred Dollar Business experiment. As you must have assumed, Ryan Byrd dot net was the *first* weblog in the WORLD to mention the experiment. That should come as no surprise to you. Here at the Ryan Byrd corporate headquarters, we hold ourselves to rigorous reporting standards and nearly impossible levels of execution, all with the goal of better serving you, the highly intelligent, discerning blog reader.
To that end, Ryan Byrd was selected to participate in a business blog carnival. I know what you’re thinking, “Carnival! isn’t that a raucous, drunken fest held down in South America?” Yes, yes it is, but we’re talking about something different: [kahr-nuh-vuhl] not [kahr-nee-val]. When I think of non-Brazilian carnivals, I think of small, rickety, rusty rides with peeling paint, twirling their frightened patrons about at tremendous speeds, threatening death at every turn. I think of the shifty-eyed, unshaven felons with leery gazes who operate the rides with bored disinterest. I think of the overpriced corn dogs and cotton candy, the small families with their children, the packs of goth kids with their angst and piercings, the incessant carne music, the Siamese twins, the strong man, the bearded woman… Good times. Good food. Good memories. …
So… Carolynn D., over at that Hundred Dollar thingy emailed me the following business blog carnival question: “How is resourcefulness vital to a new business?“
And that got me to thinking about what I’ve really learned during my MBA program at the U. Here it is, in a nutshell (and you can quote me), “No one knows how to make a successful (ethical) business. What we do know are quick ways to sink a business. Is in the avoidance of those bad actions plus lots of hard work plus good luck and serendipity that businesses make money.” Because we don’t have control over happenstance, we can’t reliably produce a fail-safe business every time. Still, we can stick to proven principles, know our goals, avoid the pitfalls and through a lot of work, hope for the best.
That said, I think we can influence our business luck by careful planning, synergistic networking and, once again, continual hard work. I think, as the thirty days comes to an end, Carolynn knows something about hard work.
Part of good business planning should involve a resource assessment; finding answers to the question: What do I have already that I can use: ideas, skills, things, and tools?
Here’s Are some quick thoughts on Resource Assessment for the Budding Entrepreneur:
Ideas: Though basic ideas are important, a perfect idea is not essential. Let’s face it– there are a lot of ideas out there. If you take a mediocre idea and put a lot of work and energy into *doing* it, you’ll make much more money than if you just sit around thinking and pondering. For example, my parents live next door to a multi-millionaire who made his fortune painting gun safes with automobile paint. That idea won’t win him any genius awards, but he went out and sold lots of his pretty, shiny safes for lots of money. Now, for fun, he races Porsches in Germany on the weekends. List ten good ideas you have.
Skills: What can you do well? Do you have an eye for design? Can you pick up new technologies rapidly? Are you a good salesperson? Do you know how to cook? make candles? Are you a natural teacher? All of these skills can be parlayed into viable businesses. If nothing else, there’s always the possibility of writing how-to guides or books describing those skills. Make a list of your talents and skills and abilities.
Things:with the international ubiquity of the Internet, your trash really is someone else’s treasure. Here are two examples: people in Europe are buying boxes of old books at estate auctions and then removing and selling each page of the book (suitable for framing.) My brother David recently bought a few pages of an old medical textbook for 30 or 40 dollars each on ebay. Another example: a friend’s mother visits thrift stores and garage sales and with her internet-ready cellphone checks the value on the items. When she discovers something good, she puts it for sale on her website. I’m told she makes several thousand dollars each month, mainly on out-of-print children’s books. Write down the items you have, or have access to, that can be sold.
Tools: whether it’s a skill saw, a Dremel, a soldering iron or a laser engraver, you’ll likely be able to put those devices to work for you. The goal is to add value be it through repairing, building, creating crafts, etc. Even better, train a friend work *for you* to add the value and then go drum up business. What tools do you have?
That’s all for now. I’ll add some more thoughts soon.