Fresh Threads: Business books, dropshipping and landlines

  1. Kat Haylock

    Kat Haylock Community Editor Staff Member

    453 220
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    Hi UKBFers,

    Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of the best comments and advice from the forums. 

    Here are my top picks from this week:

    1. I don’t know where to start…

    CasaFaye18, Ecommerce

    CasaFaye18 is keen to work for himself. At the moment, he runs a department of a production facility with around 20 staff, but he gained the position through experience rather than qualifications. He’s sold a few items on eBay in the past – could he dropship products on eBay to begin with?

     “I’m not too hung up on becoming the next Lord Sugar or Peter Jones. I just want to get by and run on my own steam. Where do I start?”

    ProjectOcto: Look at your skillset first and see what you’ve acquired and what your desires are. It’s got to be something you enjoy. Ask yourself:

    • Can you sell? Directly or indirectly?
    • Are you good with accounting figures?
    • Are you good at organising project schedules and resourcing?
    • What excites you?

    Once you’ve answered those, the rest is just learning, software and money. Yes, the latter will always matter, but from acorns do oak trees grow.

    Nochexman: Do you enjoy what you do? Would you like to do it on self-employed terms, as a freelancer or contractor? The gig economy is the thing these days and if the job you do and the skills you have are transferable then this could be the way to go. Best of luck (and welcome to the forum)

    fisicx: Dropshipping means finding a product that not everyone else is selling. That's the difficult part. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. So your first step is to find a product you know about and can market, can buy at a reasonable price and people want to buy. You can then set up your dropshipping service and start doing your marketing. Expect to make a loss; this happens more often than making a profit. But persevere and you might break even after a year.

    2. Shop cellar flooding – who’s responsible?

    eamax, General Business

    After buying a shop’s leasehold with a cellar, eamax recently went down to the cellar and found an inch of water on the floor. Based on the water markings on the walls, they estimate the water could go up to about 10 inches.

    Is this something to worry about?

    Mark T Jones: If you are planning on using the cellar, I would certainly worry. If not, you want to make sure your contract makes it absolutely clear that the landlord is responsible for costs and repairs caused by flooding.

    kulture: I would also strongly recommend that you get a proper survey done, that you use a commercial solicitor and you do not sign any lease that makes you responsible for the repair of the building. Indeed, why even take the risk? Find a better property.

    In reply to the question in the title, the responsible party is whoever it says in the lease. It is not necessarily the landlord. The lease is the single most important factor. You cannot rely on anyone's word or verbal agreement.

    3. What business books should I read?

    Kerwin, General Business

    Kerwin’s looking for a list of business books for beginners. He’s mainly interested in accounting and finance, with some general business advice thrown in. What are your must-reads?

    Nick Grogan: These are my recommendations:

    • Bookkeeping and Accounting for Dummies 6-in-1: up-to-date accounts, with six different books in one
    • Zero to One by Peter Thiel: founder of Paypal and the first investor in Facebook. It's about what your business needs to have an advantage.
    • E-Myth by Michael Gerber: why most small businesses aren't scalable, and what to do about it (it's not about ecommerce or the internet)
    • Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott: outthinking the competition and doing things differently.
    • Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins: old school advertising. It was written in 1923, but it’s the basis for all modern advertising, including the internet, PPC and social media.
    • The Prince - Machiavelli: written in 1532, which makes Claude's book look real modern. It’s often misunderstood or misquoted by people who haven't actually read it. Well worth reading to help understand everything from the government to people browsing your website.

    Mr D: A small – but good – finance book is The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason. It's great for personal and business finance.

    Ashley_Price: If you are looking for a particular skill, then yes, get books that teach you that skill. But otherwise, consider whether you should be reading books or not. I know there's a lot of advice out there that says how you should read a lot, but don't read books in the belief they will make you a success.

    The only way to make your business a success is to work hard at it – that can include following the advice and guidance given in books, as long as you actually do what they say.

    4. How important is it to have a landline number for a small business these days?

    K0608, General Business

    After initially putting the BT landline number on their website (and having it divert to mobile if not answered in 15 seconds), K0608 has decided it would be easier if all calls were diverted to mobile instantly.

    Is it still important to have a landline in modern businesses?

    Dotcomdude: I would say that the absence of a landline number leads you to think you're not dealing with a “proper” business.

    Prime81: My husband bought a business landline number and had his mobile. The only calls to the landline were sales people; most customers used the mobile. From a consumer point of view, maybe a few years ago I would think a company might be a bit dodgy without a landline, but not anymore. Many people have given up landlines (other than for broadband) and use mobiles instead.

    14Steve14: I considered losing the landline number for my business. It’s just a phone line, as I work from home and use the broadband from there. It hardly gets any outgoing use, because most customers deal by email. Sales calls are about the only ones that call. Then I sat and actually read my mobile contract and it said that it shouldn’t be used for business use. It might be worth checking yours first, if you care. I still use my mobile for most outgoing business calls, as they are included in a package.

    5. Words that make you shudder

    Mark T Jones, Time Out

    Hot on the heels of last week’s thread about entrepreneurs, Mark asks: what innocuous words have become abused to the extent that they make you shudder? 

    “For me, ‘opportunity‘ tops the list. Every time I hear it, I fully expect to be offered some kind of scam or, at best, a shabby MLM scheme. It’s closely followed by ‘disruptive’ and, of course, ‘reach out’.”

    Find out more about what's a turn off for our small business owners in this thread.

    That's all for this week have a great weekend!

    #0
  2. Furqan721

    Furqan721 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    55 4
    Thank You for sharing this stuff!
     
    Posted: May 16, 2018 By: Furqan721 Member since: Feb 26, 2018
    #2
    Chris The Dropshipper likes this.
  3. Salifuj

    Salifuj UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    After all said and done, not all businesses or websites need to worry about it. Most small businesses will not be affected right?
     
    Posted: May 30, 2018 By: Salifuj Member since: Oct 7, 2016
    #5