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Mentors. From Parents to Successful Entrepreneurs.

Mentors. From Parents to Successful Entrepreneurs.

Starting up Alike, I have predominantly looked to my parents when I have faced difficult decisions. I haven’t had the money to pay an experienced professional consultant so my parents were my best first option and I am extremely grateful for the advice they have given.   As time goes on, I appreciate more and more the advice of people with experience. Whether it is my parents, business mentors, experts I outsource work to or members of Alike.   My father is an entrepreneur at heart. He lives in Havelock North with his partner Francie where they run several small businesses. They run Hawkes Bay’s largest window cleaning company, a Boutique (self catering) Accommodation business and have recently purchased a commercial property as an investment. He is not a stereotypical “rich” person but to me he lives a very rich life as he has what a lot of people never get – time. He has designed a lifestyle for himself over the years that works for him and his advice is really appreciated.   My Mum has worked lots of different jobs over the years (hospitality, real estate, administration) and completed a BA at Victoria University as a mature student. She has currently been working at Plunket NZ head office for approximately 8 years. Mum has no direct business experience on paper so would seem the least likely to give good advice but this has far from been the case – backed up by this Economist Report. Mum has been there for me through the tough times more than any body else with words of wisdom and logical encouragement so...
Self-discipline in Business – Do you practice it?

Self-discipline in Business – Do you practice it?

Self-discipline is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the ability to control ones feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses.”   I was born in 1985 and I think I am part of a generation that has lacked being disciplined as children. We are part of the freedom of speech, women’s rights, gay marriage, Obama for president era. This is all fantastic and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our parents have also bred a generation of children that have been raised to believe they can be anything and everything they want to be. This is also great. I plan on teaching my children the same thing. However, a friend said to me the other night, “we are a generation raised by women” and I think this also rings some truth and would help explain some things.   What has been lacking in our era is the lesson of consequences – regular disciplinary reminders.   If you choose to take path A, there will be a consequence for your action that you may or may not be prepared for. Sometimes the lessons come hard. Sometimes they come easy and are only exciting. The latter being the hopeful outcome but often the best lessons can be learnt from the former so shouldn’t be feared. What I see a lot with startups and small businesses is people completely loosing confidence in themselves after their first big knock down. If you are roughly my age (many startup founders and employees are), you may have simply missed the boat with disciplinary lessons from your parent/s too. Maybe you are or maybe you aren’t my age. It doesn’t...
My Shared Space Startup. Chapter 4 – Keeping Faith.

My Shared Space Startup. Chapter 4 – Keeping Faith.

I decided that if I wanted to chase the sound design dream, I needed some kind of passive income to counteract the heavy downturns in the industry. My initial resolution was to start an espresso bar down town in Auckland. This is where my other experience lay and there was opportunity in the market. The plan: Set up a coffee shop, start pumping out lots of coffee, then step back and have staff run it. I would then have money and time to work on films. It sounds like a lot of work now, yet at the time it was a better idea than my previous situation so I pushed forward and started the hunt for a location. I purchased a people counter online (like the ones bouncers have at bars) and sat outside several different vacant spots downtown at 7am for a couple of hours counting the foot traffic. I remember the looks on some peoples faces. “What is that guy up to?” is what they were thinking and I was wondering the same thing. I got excited about a location several times, yet reality would hit after finding out the rent. The idea then became to shrink the size of the space I would rent. Again, finding a “whole in the wall” space available was a different story. I progressed to contemplating splitting a large ground floor space. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ring landlords and ask if they were prepared to rent me a section of their premise. As I predicted, the responses were all a quick no. However, the process led me to one landlord who...
Craig Weise on Co-working Etiquette for The Herald

Craig Weise on Co-working Etiquette for The Herald

I enjoyed reading the etiquette interview with Craig Weise in The Herald last Friday 9th October. Caitlin Sykes has been writing a series of great articles recently in the Business section titled, Co-working Etiquette. Craig is a Managing Director of Armillary Private Capital and is based in Wellington. Armillary decided to launch an Auckland arm of the business in early 2015. They decided to take a private office here at Alike and Craig explains why, as well as his perspective of using Alike as a travelling businessman. Thanks Craig for your time and Caitlin for the great write up! To read the full article, click here....
Get paid on time. Let the tool do the work

Get paid on time. Let the tool do the work

Learning to use a handsaw when I was young my Dad would tell me not to strain the tool. He would preach “let the saw do the cutting”. He was right. Technique was more efficient than effort but I always wondered what was in that box labelled ‘Makita Circular Saw’. The same can be said for managing invoices and overdue debtor accounts. Absolutely there’s a time to use the art of relationship management or exercise discretion but for this business chore sometimes technology is simply easier, more efficient and even enjoyable.   Take Promptly for example, a Xero Add-on which uses discounts to encourage customers to pay their invoices on time. Promptly makes it easy to display discounts on Xero invoices and automatically applies a credit note when they are paid early. It kicks late payments to the curb and the reconciliation is clean and easy.   Then there’s Debtor Daddy, a wonderfully simple Xero Add-on whose mission in life is to automatically chase your unpaid invoices. If calling in your overdue accounts is painful, awkward and time consuming then Debtor Daddy is for you. Humorous and personable in it’s hunt for payments, this application is serious when it says it can reduce your debtors by up to 60% in a matter of weeks.   Lastly for those businesses that invoice regular amounts, memberships, subscriptions or monthly fees it’s worth looking at Ezidebit. This online Direct Debit platform is a powerful alternative to automatic payments. It creates professional engagement with customers and puts you in charge payments.   Here are the tools, now go forth and get paid! Written by Alike member – Josh Ambler from Alt Shift....