Thursday, 24 December 2015

How Flat is Your World?

Disclaimer:
Many of you know that I am a big advocate of outsourcing. Having co-founded an accounting and tax return outsourcing company, I have been known to expound on the virtues of outsourcing for small and medium sized businesses from time to time. If you are a Lou Dobb’s fan, you may want to take a sedative before you read this post.
With 2008 rapidly approaching, I think it is time for every business owner and entrepreneur to take stock of how flat their world is. By 'flat world' I am referring to the analogy of Thomas Freidman’s 2004 book,The World is Flat, where he likened the growing inertia of globalization to the world being "flattened", or shrunk to the point that country borders are less and less relevant through technology and business and commerce freely flow between businesses and individuals across the world.
If you are a business owner, taking stock of how flat your world is could involve asking yourself the following questions:
-What tasks, processes and/or systems am I currently outsourcing?
-If I am not currently, am I moving in this direction quickly?
-How am I leveraging global resources to maximize my profits and boost my productivity?
-Are my competitors beating me because they are better allocating their internal resources?
Answering these questions will help you determine if you are staying in front of the globalization curve or not. If you are behind the curve, the news is good: the time is ripe to jump in.
You might be asking: “What if I am just a single entrepreneur and I don’t have anything to outsource?” My answer to this is simple: everybody has mundane and routine tasks that add little or no value that could be outsourced to free up time and make for a clearer focused business model. Look at things like: scheduling, bill payment, book keeping, order fulfillment, website maintenance, and promotional materials and so on. Just look for a few minutes and you will find an aspect of your business that will benefit from globalization.
Does flattening your world always mean that you are going to outsource to India? In a word; no. In fact, I outsource quite a few of my business processes to freelancers here in the U.S. The flattened world also means making you closer to those across the U.S.
The flatter your world is, the more adaptable you are to change and the more scalable your business is.

Top 5 Books That Need To Be On Every Business Owners Christmas List
For this week's Top 5, I am giving a run down of books that are an absolute MUST READ for all entrepreneuers and prospective entrepreneurs.
1The 4 hour Workweek – By Tim Ferriss
This is a book that has the power to shift paradigms like no other I have read in recent year. Tim Ferriss, an Ivy League guy by pedigree, left the corporate world to start his own business. He subsequently developed systems and methodologies that enabled him to automate his business to the point of allowing him to travel the world, do more of what he wants to do and still maintain a profitable business.
Needless to say, given the title of the book, Tim Ferriss generated a lot of controversy with this work. A particular high point of controversy was a debate that he had with Donny Deutsch on the Today Show with Matt Lauer moderating.
Watch the interview here http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&vid=784332df-40a6-40cf-87ff-81691ca2eeaf
Read this book and have your eyes opened! Check out Tim Ferriss’ bloghttp://fourhourworkweek.com/blog/.
2. The World is Flat – By Thomas L. Friedman
The World is Flat was first published in 2004. It has been through several updates since then, and all of them add more value to this great work. Friedman gives a great account of the changes that globalization has brought forth in the last 10 years, the catalysts of those changes and how companies and individuals all over the world are benefiting from it. Friedman is also careful to talk about the human factor of globalization; the job losses, income shifts and environmental impact.
For every entrepreneur out there, this book will help you better understand the trends taking place with regard to outsourcing, in-sourcing, supply chaining and a lot of other things that may just be buzzwords to you.
Check out Thomas L Friedman’s websitehttp://www.thomaslfriedman.com/. He has written some other good books as well, such as The Lexus and the Olive Tree.
3. Made to Stick – By Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Made to stick has a lot of great case studies and research that shows what makes good ideas stick. The concepts and research from this book can be used and implemented in your business and in other aspects of your life.
Check out the made to stick blog at:http://www.madetostick.com/blog/. You will get a lot of great information here.
4. The Age of Turbulence – By Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan’s autobiography, The Age of Turbulence takes the reader through his illustrious career as an economist. From his early days working with the Nixon administration to becoming Federal Reserve Chairman before the 1987 stock market crash to his dealings as Fed Chairman with President George W. Bush, this book contains so much history, insight and information, that I encourage anyone to read it through a second time.
You will learn about a great deal of macroeconomic, political and financial market detail that you would never get from anywhere else, unless you personally know somebody on the inside, like a member of the Fed. The most interesting parts of the book is when Greenspan expounds on his experiences in dealing with the end of the cold war and his inner dealings with each White House administration.
I highly recommend grabbing this book and sitting down for a great look through the eyes of a brilliant economist and politician.
5. No B.S. Wealth Attraction for Entrepreneurs– By Dan Kennedy
Admittedly, Dan Kennedy is one of my favorite authors on material for the entrepreneur and small business owner. Dan Kennedy’s writing is very straight forward (hence the ‘No B.S.’ in the title) and easy to read. No B.S. Wealth Attraction will show you how many entrepreneurs limit the wealth they create for themselves by how they think about money.
No B.S. Wealth Attraction is full of practical steps and inspirational analogies and a few stories that will show you that just changing your thoughts and actions can make a huge difference in the amount of wealth you bring into your life.
I encourage everybody to check out Dan Kennedy’s blog: http://www.dankennedy.com/cblog/ and to get on his No B.S. Marketing Newsletter list. This is one newsletter you won’t regret being on!
So, there it is! Grab these books and watch your business and intellect go to the next level.

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