Site Content and Organization

Quick Summary: The content in this site is arranged by subject and company stage for quick and easy access.

Abstract:

To avoid the proverbial trying to find a needle in a haystack situation, locating the appropriate content in this collection of 500 articles has been simplified through its organization and methods of filtering and selecting it.  The articles in this collection are intended to address a host of issues that are common to most every business and enterprise. 

This site contains approximately five hundred short articles.  It is intended to continue to add articles to the site.  The current total word count of all the articles is over 415,000 words.  To put that total in perspective, the classic novels War and Peace and Atlas Shrugged have 587,287 and 561,996 words respectively.  Their lengths are the only thing this site has in common with those masterpieces!  For readers that are old enough to remember the bound volumes of encyclopedias, this site can be thought of as a nine volume encyclopedia with information grouped in order by subject.

Similar to an encyclopedia or a road atlas, this site is designed to be used as a pinpoint reference with the user selecting a particular topic of interest.  This approach is markedly different than a novel that is intended to be read from cover to cover, starting at the beginning.   A brief summary of each of the nine volumes is included below.  The site also contains some additional navigation capabilities that are described in the article “How to Use this Site.”  The major navigation method other than browsing through each of the chapters is to select one of the Business Stages.  These stages are also described below with more thorough descriptions included in the Business Stages chapter in this volume. 

Volumes and Summaries

Volume 1: Introduction and Overview

This site contains hundreds of short articles that discuss a wide variety of operational issues faced by organizations of all sizes and maturities.  Descriptions of the content, its organization, target audience, and how to use the site, and its genesis are included in this volume.

Volume 2: The Seven Business Principles

Vision and Mission statements are very important in helping a company establish its unique identity.  There are, however, some basic principles that are applicable to all organizations that simply must be followed for the organization to achieve and maintain long-term success. Although vision and mission statements may hang on the wall and be thought of from time to time, seven fundamental business principles that should be used to govern behaviors must be followed every day by every person in every activity.

Volume 3: Starting a Company

There are many small steps that need to be progressively taken from the inception to the actual offering of a product or service in a new venture.  The reality is that, in many instances, those small steps do not occur in a straight line; deviations or re-trenching often are necessary.  Also, instead of small steps, many times leaps of faith are required by the entrepreneur, the employees, and certainly, the investors.  Although these challenges may be new to each entrepreneur, virtually all have been experienced before by others.  Learn from them.

Volume 4: Managing a Company

Management is an all-encompassing term that can be defined as the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.  Most of the articles in this entire collection provide guidance that may be useful in helping with the process of management.  This volume includes a small number of suggestions and techniques from the almost limitless amount of information on the subject.

Volume 5: The Top Line

The “Top Line” is another way of saying revenue.  It represents the first, or top entry, on a company’s financial income statement.  Revenue is the life-blood of every organization and must be continually available for survival.  Nothing can substitute for it. Recognizing its importance, probably more than half of all business books are written on revenue and its associated disciplines.  It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that meeting revenue targets is the responsibility of the sales organization.  While the sales team plays a critical role, they represent only the tip of the spear.  They cannot possibly be successful without the tactical and strategic support of others, especially management.

Volume 6: Support and Development

In the excitement to launch a new company or new product or service, it is easy, and even natural, to focus on the feeling of its probable, or almost guaranteed, future success.  It is easy to focus on the “good path” in which everything falls in place as planned.  Unfortunately, experience has shown that the “good path” represents roughly ten percent of the effort.  Exception handling and process variation realities take up the remaining ninety percent of the effort.  By considering those later items earlier, significant improvements will occur that will greatly increase the likelihood of success.

Volume 7: Governance

The previous volumes in this collection dealt with operational issues associated with starting and running an organization.  Higher level issues that involve the company’s external directors need to be considered on an ongoing basis.  Typically, these issues are addressed by the company’s CEO or Managing Director but impact everyone in the organization.

Volume 8: Tools and Presentations

The articles in this collection are written in simple text format.  There are, however, some potentially useful tools, presentations, and other material that may be useful to users that can be downloaded through this volume.

Volume 9: Everything Else

It is easy to assume that all foreseeable article subjects will nicely fit into one of the previously defined volumes, but the future is full of unknowns.  This volume has been included to capture those items as they will surely appear.


Business Stages and Summaries
 

Thinking of Starting a Business

After the “dreaming” stage of imaging your success in a new venture, there are many issues that should be considered about the risks, rewards, and commitment it will take before taking the plunge.

Committed to Starting a Business

Once it is decided to start the business, the nitty-gritty, tactical issues need to be listed that cover all aspects of the business.

Working Full Time in a New Business

There is a seemingly endless number of issues that should be considered, prioritized, and worked on during the early days of the new business.  Many of those issues will not surface until work has actually begun.

Have a Demo Product

The ability to demonstrate the new product or service is a great accomplishment.  However, it is important to quickly move on, answering the “what is next, now?” question.  What has been demonstrated is probably still a long way to commercial viability.

Needs to Raise Money

Funding operations is always a challenge.  Until an entrepreneur has started the process, they cannot appreciate the difficulty they will encounter in attracting investors.  Carefully considering which investors to pursue, when to puruse them, and how much to ask for is a critical step that must be taken.

Has Some Customers

Focusing on a few initial customers, doing whatever it takes is a sound practice to validate the company’s offering.  However, implementing methods to attract a far greater number of customers and understanding the sales cycle and required resources represents an entirely new set of challenges.

Ready to Expand

Scaling all aspects of the company’s operations to ensure that the customer’s total end-to-end solution is available and easy to implement requires a new and different focus than that of obtaining external validation.

Having Operational Issues

Once the business begins to expand, invariably, operations becomes interrupt driven with new challenges arriving daily. Many of these unforeseen events can first appear to require immediate attention. This will become the new model of doing business.

Pursuing Revenue

Revenue is the life-blood of every business.  Although its pursuit is an integral part of most of the other business stages, focusing specifically on the article associated with revenue can be a worthwhile exercise.

 

Article Numbering Scheme

All of the articles follow a simple, consistent numbering scheme, described as follows.

  • A single digit to the left of the decimal point identifies the volume (1 thru 9)
  • The first two digits to the right of the decimal point identify the chapter (1 thru 99)
  • The next two digits represent the section number (0 thru 99)
  • The final two digits represent the article number (1 thru 99)

Example: 4.020301 would identify an article in Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section, 3, and Article 01.

With:

4.xxxxxx as the Volume Number

x.02xxxx as 02 the Chapter Number

x.xx03xx as 03 the Section Number

x.xxxx01 as 01 the Article Number

Example: 5.010204 would identify an article in Volume 5, Chapter 01, Section, 02, and Article 04.

Article Number : 1.010104   

A Handy Reference Guide for Executives and Managers at All Levels.

9 Volumes 36 Chapters ~500 Articles

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The weight of your world does not have to be on your shoulders.
The articles in this site will help to lift that weight from your shoulders.
Pick an article similar to how you pick a route on a page of an atlas.
There is no need to look at other articles, just as you ignore other pages in an atlas.
It is easy to start a business but it is hard to run. Bumps and unexpected sharp turns in the road are always present.
Others have traveled the road before you; learn from them. This site may help.