The Beatles Aren't the Only Ones Who Need HELP!

Can anybody help you to start your business?

This entry is from guest blogger, Cindy Hartman of Hartman Inventory Systems.  a business and personal property inventory company

Most everyone – at least in my generation – knows the words to this popular Beatles song. “Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody. Help, you know I need someone. HELP!”

This current economy could easily become a mantra for quite a few people who have been downsized, rightsized, terminated – whatever you want to call it. And like I did 5 years ago, many are considering starting their own business rather than return to the corporate world.

That wasn’t a tough decision for me, and I’m sure the same goes for those who are making that move. Even with confidence this is the right thing to do, though, there is hesitation, concern, uncertainty, and many, many questions to deal with. The Beatles sum it up by talking about getting their feet back on the ground. They reminisce that in younger days, they didn’t need anyone’s help, but now they aren’t so self-assured and need help getting their feet back on the ground.

Yep – that about sums it up! That is a great explanation of the internal conversations I had and many of you are having as well. Thoughts like “can I do it all on my own” or “do I need constant assistance.” Or, are your thoughts taking you somewhere in between a solo act and a package all wrapped up in a nice bow?

There are 4 main options: 

  1. starting on your own.
  2. buying a startup kit.
  3. purchasing a turnkey package.
  4. or investing in a franchise (the package wrapped up in a bow). 
There are wide variances among them, but during my research before starting my own business, I found some key differences.

STARTUP. A true startup is a clean slate, to create exactly what you want without even a template to help you get started. Whether you have a business partner or not, you’re on your own, without guidance or knowledge from someone already in the business. You are responsible for creating policies, procedures and processes. All creation and execution are in your hands. This is a daunting task, and often takes much more time and money to get started because of the extensive ramp-up caused by the learning curve. This was the direction I took, and found that it takes more time, effort and money than I ever anticipated!

STARTUP KIT. These vary greatly from just a brief how-to guide on a 3-fold brochure to a comprehensive manual which often includes document templates. The cost can be from minimal up to thousands of dollars. The key here is the word “startup”, which indicates you’ll receive up-front help, but then you’ll be on your own. There is no contract, because the purchase of the kit is the end of the transaction. This type of purchase can be helpful for those who want to be completely independent, but want just a little help to get started.

TURNKEY BUSINESS or TURNKEY PACKAGE. If you want independence as a business owner, with no one telling you what to do, or when and how to do it, then a turnkey business, sometimes called a turnkey package, could be for you. The term “turnkey” comes from the premise that you can just “turn the key" and you’re open for business. The true turnkey can be favorably compared to a franchise because they include marketing materials, hands-on training and continued mentoring and support.

FRANCHISE. There are few people who don’t know what about franchises. An already successful business organization enters into a continuing contractual relationship with new ventures. These new business owners operate under the franchisor’s trade name. If you want to own your company, but know that you’ll need continued help and support, this is probably the best choice for you. The fanchisors determine your marketing materials, company policies and procedures, location of your store and more. This business model requires a % of revenue in exchange for operating under their umbrella. Most, if not all, require a background check and financial qualifications.

No matter what you choose, you usually get what you pay for. Compare before buying! Whether you start your own business from the ground up, purchase a franchise, or buy something in between, remember that the success of your business is up to you. It rests entirely on your shoulders. Your determination, hard work and perseverance create your outcome.


E-mail us for help and solutions to start your business or reach your business goals.  

© 2010 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved


Who's Your Utility Man?

Every Business Owner Should Have a "Utility Man."  

"You will never maximize your potential in any area of life without (help). It is impossible. You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you can be. We simply do (everything) better when someone else is watching and evaluating." 
Andy Stanley

Lew Smallwood says, in one of his Strategies for Success entries, that we need advisors to overcome our internal Performance Thermostat settings. We have learned behaviors and patterns that can hold us in place. Therefore, assistance is required before we can successfully reach whatever goals we've set. Inertia will tend to keep us and our business performance right where we are, UNLESS an outside force causes us to move.

Here is your $64K, or even $64 million question:
Who is YOUR Utility Man?
Where will that outside force come from that redirects your practices, or that of your staff, toward change -- and winning the game? 

The term "Utility Man" has commonly been used in the auto industry and baseball. It's defined as: 
  1. Business / Professions: a team member who is expected to serve in any of several capacities.
  2. Baseball: a player who is not a regular and whose value lies in an ability to play several positions.
Micro business owners, by their nature, wear a lot of management hats -- Sales Manager, Marketing Director, Operations Manager, Chief Strategist, Quasi Accountant... Yet, no one can be great at everything! At the very least, you need a mentor who can listen to your woes and provide feedback. Ideally, every business owner would have a board of advisors and/or a corporate board of directors to provide guidance and input. 
The most successful business owners, those who thrive even in challenging times, have external sources that help them to reach their objectives. 

What are the characteristics of a good Utility Man? 
  • Experience. This person has performed in the role. You feel comfortable that they know first-hand what you have to solve. 
  • Skill. Experience, talent, and practice have given that person an edge. That edge could be the ingredient that helps your business get to the next level. 
  • Creativity. Because this person plays in more than one position, and in more than one business and industry, creativity becomes second nature. They can easily see things from more than one perspective. This virtually guarantees that solutions, and results, will not be one-dimensional.
    Your Utility Man could spell the difference between almost winning the game versus having a game-winning RBI.
What is keeping your business from reaching the next level? 
Would you like to know that answer -- and the solutions that go with it? Then you should click the e-mail link below to get started! Let thinkVAULT be your Utility Man. 

Utility Man definition sources [1], [2]
E-mail us for help and solutions for reach your business goals.  

© 2010 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved


Will your business grow this year?

It's time to grow your business.
The new year is here... and your business wants to know what you're going to do about that. 

Was one of your New Year's resolutions to spend more time and energy running your business, instead of letting it run you?
  • Have you made any appointments with yourself yet, to actually set out some objectives and plan strategies for reaching them? 
  • Are you already caught up in the old routines of last year and trying to catch your breath? 

Take a couple of minutes to watch this video thought-starter.

Then call to see what thinkVAULT can do for you and your business.

thinkVAULT New Year - Grow Your Business

What are you thinking NOW?

At a time when it seems logical to curtail spending, some business owners will recognize the window of opportunity to gain market share. Are you one of them?

It is a jungle out there.

To make a real impact in 2010, planning is required. 
thinkVAULT can help you with that.

I can help to clear away the distracting vines and underbrush for you -- even tame a few revenue-limiting tigers. Let me know when you're ready. 

© 2009 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved