Trip to Adamsfield – South West Wilderness Area near Lake Gordon, Tasmania.

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Adamsfield is a locality in Tasmania Australia where osmiridium was discovered in 1925. Alluvial mining resulted in one of the world’s largest sources of osmium and iridium metal. Florentine Post Office opened on 1 November 1925.

Today there is little left of this once booming town. Most of the buildings have been damaged by bushfires or reclaimed by the bush. Despite this, a visit to Adamsfield is well worthwhile.What remains gives a feeling for what once existed here and the surrounding landscape emphasises the remoteness of the settlement.

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Old shacks near river. The river has a footbridge crossing or 4WD required to cross to get to Adamsfield.

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Original Township is in there somewhere much of the area is overgrown with bracken. Image

The Mines

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Visitors to Adamsfield do not require a Parks pass.

There are barriers on the Saw Back Range track. Adamsfield track and the Clear Hill Road, all of which are permanently locked.  Therefore, all vehicle based visitors to Adamsfield, including those travelling by motorbike, four-wheel bike or mountain bike, require an authority and a key from Mt Field National Park Visitor Centre. A $300 refundable deposit is charged for the key.  The maximum number of vehicles in each group is six. To ensure access it is recommended that you book in advance given the limited number allowed in each day.

Chasing Pillows

cde1e5e56636adf94959abb44d1203dacbc8d13d-thumbWilliam Cooper is a student of everything that interests him. Although everything interesting doesn’t always interest him (we think it may be the hormones). He likes warm toast when he has been sick and intends to expand his novel Chasing Pillows with a “somewhat sequel” that explores the protagonist’s universe and may mention the protagonist himself once or twice. When he makes mistakes he almost always tries to spin them into an intended action and does this sometimes with success.

Have you ever lost yourself in another world—so much that you almost begin to forget the real one? Then you may see yourself in the writings of Opaulde. If not, the contents of this novel may simply confuse you and perhaps even appall you. Otherwise, if you are not repelled by the bizarre and chaotic, submerge yourself in Opaude’s world and see if you can answer the question, “Who is Opaulde?”

William Cooper’s book Chasing Pillows is available at Amazon.com (Paperback, Kindle) and at Smashwords.com (eBook formats)

Mistake 1, Part 4: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

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Each business owner has their own style for implementing new initiatives, but there can be no better opportunity for a team effort than in identifying all the elements of the business. Once you have decided to go for your own systems, involve all personnel in this discussion and start with the business goals, breaking these down into a series of procedures and tasks, i.e.:

  • Set up a systems ‘office’. This can certainly be a virtual office to save costs, but there is also need for a central office or location.
  • List (or set) strategic goals.
  • Identify tasks necessary to achieve those goals.
  • Develop effective procedures for completing those tasks; that is, write the procedures manual that can be replicated from the prototype.
  • Build confidence; it’s important to get a systems design completed early to create momentum and confidence among management, staff and external stakeholders. Get some runs on the board from day one!
  • Identify transitional systems. More good luck than good management would get everything to go the systems way simultaneously across the organisation. There will usually need to be a staged transition to allow for slower segments to be implemented and for re-training to occur where necessary.
  • Create the desired turnkey environment. What worked in your pre-turnkey era may no longer work; there may be shifts, not only in job descriptions, but also for working hours, flexitime, meeting times, etc.
  • Explain this new strategy. All key employees and stakeholders need to be told what is happening and when, especially if they will be affected as above.

This process is about both simplification – finding a better way of doing things – but also creating new roles. This may require a training effort. The ultimate goal of imposing structure and instituting systems and procedures is, of course, predictability. A system is any method or procedure that simplifies or automates part of the business, making it easier for ordinary people to operate it. As one business owner said, “I’ve set systems in place – the policies and procedures – documented down to every task so that staff know exactly what they are to do and how they are to do it, and how they are accountable for doing it well.” She went one step further to ensure the business invested in training, because some tasks would be totally new tasks. “Then we train, and train them all over again.” Continued in Part 4. An extract from the book “The 7 Biggest Costly Mistakes Business Owners Make And How to Survive & Thrive” by Richard C. Cooper (c) 2011.

Mistake 1, Part 3: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

Originally posted on @richardcooperCH the blog:

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How do you build a business that works without you?

Every business has its own unique characteristics, but there is always a flow of work that makes up the overall concept.  Your task as the owner is to identify and build your own systems, detailed in a ‘procedures/tasks manual’ (sometimes called an ‘operations manual’). Every segment of your business must have definite procedures that make up the workflow. These procedures are totally consistent with your strategic goals in the business.

Just being armed with a business plan or a set of strategic goals does not mean that running your business will be easy. Work must be done to get the systems, procedures, and organisational structure right. Ray Kroc sweated over this for a considerable time before he was confident that a franchise operator could come in, switch on the register and lights and stovetop, and deliver the same high-quality hamburger…

View original 200 more words

Mistake 1, Part 2: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

Originally posted on @richardcooperCH the blog:

The turnkey solution

When you buy a new car, you don’t expect to have to open the bonnet and fiddle around with the bits under the hood. You should be able to just turn the key and start driving. That’s what ‘turnkey’ means. In business, it’s a system so perfectly crafted that it requires no debugging or fiddling with, or any sense that things won’t work from the outset; just turn the key, and start making money.

If your business is starting to feel more like a rut than a business, it is time to take a turnkey approach – that is, any method or procedure that simplifies or automates part of the business, making it easier for ordinary people to operate.

This is the essence of what author Michael Gerber calls the “prototype”. Gerber is an entrepreneur guru and author of ‘The E-Myth’. He often talks about how 80%…

View original 399 more words

Mistake 1, Part 1: Trying to Do Everything Yourself (or at least too much) ?

richardcooperch:

An important repeat.

Originally posted on @richardcooperCH the blog:

Trying to do everything (or at least too much) is one of the great, potentially fatal mistakes that early stage business owners make. It’s hardly surprising because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, does fall on the business owner’s plate. The challenge is, well, to challenge this commonality. Here we use McDonald’s to illustrate an idea accessible to all business owners, regardless of their industry or profession.

The McDonald’s Effect is a phenomenon made possible by the vision of Ray Kroc who saw that a well-oiled business, such as the one run by the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, California, could be expanded into a viable franchise with thousands of different owners. Kroc perfected every detail of the McDonald’s procedure in a prototype store. Taken to its ultimate conclusion, a perfect system and set of procedures has the ability to replicate itself thousands of times – exemplified by tens of thousands…

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Simple is Difficult for Entrepreneurs

richardcooperch:

Not doing the basics well is a problem that I see every day for startups. Often a case of being more “keen” than “prepared”. If the inputs, people and processes aren’t right or ready then the outputs aren’t going to be.

Originally posted on David Cummings on Startups:

Many startups talk about keeping things simple, almost like a badge of honor. When trying to solve a problem, present a message, or interacting with a user, complexity is the natural response. Humans, especially engineers, enjoy providing comprehensive solutions that meet the needs of as many people as possible. Or do they? On average, making something simple and good is much harder than making something merely good.

Here are several areas where I’ve seen startups have difficulty with simple but good:

  • Elevator Pitch – More often than not, elevator pitches are too complicated and don’t leave the recipient with a decent understanding of the idea (see Offline Analogy to Describe a Startup)
  • Messaging – Quick, go to five startup sites and read their homepage or most recent press release. How clear is the message? How much jargon and corporate-speak is used? Overwhelmingly, startups struggle with clear messaging.
  • Metrics – Typically…

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The three critical factors wearable devices need to succeed

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richardcooperch:

Good read. At this point in time this leaves me thinking wait and see what they all produce in the future – BUYING DECISION still = WAIT.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

At least 10 new wearable devices were introduced at CES in January, from makers such as Sony, Pebble, Meta, LG, Garmin, Razer and more. Yet despite the enthusiasm in the market, the dirty secret of wearables remains: almost all of the current generation of products fail to drive long-term, sustained engagement and behavior change.

Endeavour Partners’ research recently found that while one in 10 US consumers over the age of 18 now owns a modern activity tracker, one-third of US consumers who have owned a wearable product stopped using it within six months, and more than half of US consumers who owned an activity tracker no longer use it. Consumers are buying them and trying them, but rarely end up relying on them.

Key challenge of wearables: Long-term engagement and behavior change

Sustained engagement is the key challenge for companies developing wearable devices or complementary services. A surprising percentage of…

View original 818 more words

Mistake 1, Part 3: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

Image

How do you build a business that works without you?

Every business has its own unique characteristics, but there is always a flow of work that makes up the overall concept.  Your task as the owner is to identify and build your own systems, detailed in a ‘procedures/tasks manual’ (sometimes called an ‘operations manual’). Every segment of your business must have definite procedures that make up the workflow. These procedures are totally consistent with your strategic goals in the business.

Just being armed with a business plan or a set of strategic goals does not mean that running your business will be easy. Work must be done to get the systems, procedures, and organisational structure right. Ray Kroc sweated over this for a considerable time before he was confident that a franchise operator could come in, switch on the register and lights and stovetop, and deliver the same high-quality hamburger, time and time again. Every detail of the business must be handled, examined, improved and documented, and improved upon again.

Up until now, whether making a sale, negotiating with a supplier, or keeping track of expenses, it has been you, as the business operator, just getting the job done.  This is fine, if the business is just you. But if you are ready to grow into developing your ‘systems and procedures’, then a change is needed.

This exercise requires all key people to be considered. Each person in the business must ask, ‘what would best service our customers here? How could I streamline or adapt the practices, in order to give the customer what they want most easily, while at the same time maximizing profits?’

To kick off this process, ask yourself: do you have the time, the skills and the capacity to execute these activities to develop your “perfect” business model?  If not, you could plug into an existing system – which is, of course, already the domain of franchises, but also exist in many network-marketing businesses. From The 7 Biggest “Costly” Mistakes Business Owners Make (And How to Survive & Thrive) by Richard Cooper – Continued in Part 4………

Mistake 1, Part 2: Trying to do Everything Yourself (or at least too much)?

The turnkey solution

When you buy a new car, you don’t expect to have to open the bonnet and fiddle around with the bits under the hood. You should be able to just turn the key and start driving. That’s what ‘turnkey’ means. In business, it’s a system so perfectly crafted that it requires no debugging or fiddling with, or any sense that things won’t work from the outset; just turn the key, and start making money.

If your business is starting to feel more like a rut than a business, it is time to take a turnkey approach – that is, any method or procedure that simplifies or automates part of the business, making it easier for ordinary people to operate.

This is the essence of what author Michael Gerber calls the “prototype”. Gerber is an entrepreneur guru and author of ‘The E-Myth’. He often talks about how 80% of businesses fail in the first five years.  Most people become sick of working for their idiot bosses, as they call them, so they decide to start their own business, and end up becoming the idiot boss. Instead of working five days per week for a guaranteed pay cheque; they work six to seven days per week, often for no cheque at all. You may be able to relate to these sad statistics.

In his book, Gerber walks you through the steps of a business life cycle – from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective and guiding light of all businesses that succeed –showing how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business at any level. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked, distinction between working ON your business and working IN your business. This is also core to our work in this book, which is ultimately about freedom, not servitude to business!

A true business is a profitable enterprise that will work ideally without you. Most people do not really have a business; they just have another job that creates a lot more stress. The idea of a real business, as Robert Kiyosaki describes in the ‘Cash flow Quadrant’ is becoming the owner of an organisation or business that will work without you having to be there. In other words, if you wanted to go away for six months, you could; it would still bring in a passive income. Most people do not know how to set up a business like that.

Just as McDonald’s stores have been replicated tens of thousands of times all around the world, any business can be run on a turnkey basis, if it has the right systems and procedures in place.

This ‘systems’ approach allows a small business owner the means to integrate his activities via a set of systems and procedures. For a manager, this approach provides the order and predictability that is so important to the running of his or her business. For a proficient technical specialist or business owner-operator, it allows you to have the systems and procedures attended to by other people, so you can be free to do the ‘technical’ or the strategic work that you love. From The 7 Biggest “Costly” Mistakes Business Owners Make (And How to Survive & Thrive) by Richard Cooper – Continued in Part 3………