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100 Rules For Entrepreneurs

Real-life business lessons

By Neil Lewis

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About the Author

Neil Lewis

Neil Lewis is a media entrepreneur and business leader based in the North West of England. A partner in MediaModo and the driving force behind new digital magazines, business events and entrepreneur accreditation assessments, Neil has over 22 years experience in publishing and business investment.

His specialist skills include business strategy, online publishing and media plus business ... Read more on Neil Lewis

Contents Listing

About the Author
Acknowledgements
Introduction: 15 Principles of Successful Entrepreneurs

The Rules

1. Just do it...
2. Learn from your mistakes
3. Never blame the market
4. Take care of yourself
5. Know yourself
6. Measure success properly
7. Sharpen the saw
8. Make your passion your business
9. Nothing but the truth - and quick
10. Don't pin your hopes on a premature retirement
11. Never work to 'save jobs'
12. Avoid the 'we've just got to survive the recession' fallacy
13. Proper profit is profit margin
14. The second goal of business is sustainability
15. How to set a business-sale goal
16. Run the business for dividends (shareholder profit)
17. Use the dividend cash flow to value your business
18. Focus on cash-flow forecasts
19. Check your bank balance daily
20. Don't do guilt
21. Beg, borrow and barter
22. Use win/win negotiation
23. Deliver your promises up-front
24. Keep collaborating
25. Run a 'to-stop' list
26. Freelance is best
27. Hire freelancers correctly
28. Constantly question whether you have the right people in the right roles
29. Hire better than you need
30. Grow only as fast as your resources allow
31. Hire hunger (humble and hardworking), not the best (proud and expensive)
32. Pay the right price for the person
33. Never over-promote
34. Meet the spouse for senior roles
35. Use references early in recruitment
36. Avoid job titles
37. Pay recruitment fees on 'success'
38. Keep new roles temporary
39. Quality team equals low stress levels
40. When staff leave, let them go without a fight
41. Commit to excellence - fire the 'good'
42. Measure team performance
43. Three months never says it all
44. Managers and recruitment
45. Making the KPIs solid
46. Poor performers get fired - not made redundant
47. Deal with personnel problems immediately
48. Use great questions to tease out performance
49. Promote anyone who makes their job redundant
50. 100% management support - all the time
51. Know employees by their fruits
52. Do away with formal meetings
53. The team is the hero
54. Have a wise head on hand
55. Reward long-term value creation
56. Be wary of bonuses?
57. Use profit-share bonuses
58. Pay out some profits as dividends for directors
59. Keep two accounts
60. Pride goes before a fall
61. Don't diversify to escape trouble
62. Let go - faster
63. Letting others have a go will help them develop greatness
64. Eliminate puff
65. Build your brand
66. Protect your brand and IP
67. Product = brand = product = brand
68. Establish clear ownership of code, content and process
69. Own your clients
70. Refocus your brand - regularly
71. Measure resolutions as well as complaints
72. Rattle the cage to maintain excellence
73. Know your source of world-class business excellence
74. Know your business's economic engine
75. Ideas are cheap - unless they are patentable
76. Live above the shop
77. Remember the risk to your reputation
78. Put it in writing - and make sure you sign it
79. Understand fixed costs
80. Never let tax drive your decision making
81. Someone has already solved your problem
82. Put business before technology
83. Control credit
84. Tough decisions are the right ones
85. Plan your exit from your business
86. Avoid management and board meetings
87. Use the envelope test
88. Marketing comes first, design second
89. Set in place a feedback loop
90. Solve problems with three-way conversations
91. Avoid shareholders
92. Never let family be shareholders
93. Debt is like a disease
94. Build a strong non-exec team - prudently
95. Understand the three stages of a business
96. No share options
97. Let yourself be ousted - at the right price
98. Cease trading before it is too late
99. Choose the right opportunity
100. Business comes, business goes - you'll always be an entrepreneur

Postscript
About the Author
Acknowledgements
Introduction: 15 Principles of Successful Entrepreneurs

The Rules

1. Just do it...
2. Learn from your mistakes
3. Never blame the market
4. Take care of yourself
5. Know yourself
6. Measure success properly
7. Sharpen the saw
8. Make your passion your business
9. Nothing but the truth - and quick
10. Don't pin your hopes on a premature retirement
...

Jacket Text

COMPREHENSIVE, HARD-WON, NO-NONSENSE ADVICE

100 Rules for Entrepreneurs covers every aspect of business from the entrepreneur's point of view. Unlike other guides it avoids mere theorising. Instead, everything is tackled in light of the realities of business in the 21st century, and through the lens of serious entrepreneurial experience.

The rise of regulations, the impact of competition and the growth of globalisation means that start-ups have to be more flexible and robust than ever before in order to prevail. Mindful of this, Neil Lewis provides practical and original advice on:

- how to properly measure profit - and what a really sustainable business looks like (and how it can be grown)
- how to handle recruitment - and not only why freelance is the future, but how best to take advantage of it
- how to manage your management team, set effective goals for your business and prevent the rot from setting in
- the best time to sell your business (and how best to do it).

He also brings to bear his experiences on dealing with dividends, shareholders and other advanced aspects of running a start-up.

GRITTY WISDOM
Accessible and memorable - counterintuitive at times, at times reassuringly simple; refreshingly realistic throughout - 100 Rules is the ultimate companion for today's entrepreneur. It is the direct and hard-earned wisdom of an entrepreneur who has seen it all: the giddying heights of reaching a £12m valuation in eight years from a simple start in a back bedroom with a computer and £2,000; the dizzying descent of losing it all in two, and the work required to pick up and start, successfully, again.

Media Coverage

Angel News

I have enjoyed reading Neil Lewis?s book "100 Rules for Entrepreneurs"

With his permission from this month onwards we will summarise one of his rules each month in our AngelNewsletter.

Rule 1 ...

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My Wonderful Life Coach

100 RULES FOR ENTREPRENEURS ? Real-Life Business Lessons ? Neil Lewis ? Harriman House ? ISBN 978-0857190277 - Reviewed by Valerie Dwyer - Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, ...

Read more

The Yorkshire Post

HOW much?

That is the question that drives customers into Poundland ? one of the UK's fastest growing retailers.

And value is what Bradford-based Morrisons offer their customers too.

So, ...

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Business Zone

Neil Lewis explains why entrepreneurs often massively underestimate their marketing and sales costs, and reveals how to get better value.

You have a prototype. You?ve been through the proof of ...

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The Chester Chronicle

ENTREPRENEUR Neil Lewis believes that businesses can achieve greater success by working differently ? and he is talking from experience.

The media entrepreneur, a partner in MediaModo and the ...

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Thesewingdirectory.co.uk

"A lot of useful information...very readable."Business Book Reviews - 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs- The Sewing Directory17th January 2012

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Media Review


100 Rules for Entrepreneurs- EN MagazineMarch 2011

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Media Review


Neil's Top Tips for Business Success- The Weekly News22nd January 2011 Edition

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Cardiff.ac.uk

Neil Lewis was a guest speaker at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University - Neil's "candid and honest style was very refreshing and feedback from everyone who attended has been extremely ...

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Media Review


100 Rules for Entrepreneurs- Better BusinessDec 2010/Jan 2011 Edition

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Mywonderfullifecoach.co.uk

"I would like to see this book as a reference in every business library ... Better get your hands on a copy, read now and apply your rules! ... Start up, student or seasoned entrepreneur, there?s ...

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Media Review


Unique fairs deliver business success- Chester Chronicle9th December 2010

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Aber.ac.uk

Neil Lewis was a guest speaker at Aberystwyth University Crisalis Student Enterprise Club 9th December 2010

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Lufbra.net

Neil Lewis was a guest speaker at Loughborough University Entrepreneurial Society 9th December 2010

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Yorkshirepost.co.uk

Neil Lewis: The North can capitalise on being careful with cash- Yorkshire Post7th December 2010

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Talkradioeurope.com

Neil Lewis and 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs were featured on the Enterprise Show- Talk Radio Europe 27th October 2010

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Businesszone.co.uk

Why marketing your new business could cost 10 times more than you think- Neil Lewis, Business Zone15th October 2010

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Chesterchronicle.co.uk

Neil Lewis and 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs were featured in the 'The Future Is Digital'- Chester Chronicle 6th August 2010

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