Business eGuides are quite different from normal text books on starting and running a business, because they are based on real life experiences. We regularly produce a blog on ‘Building Businesses‘ from experts who have run businesses, from their own start ups to high value private and public companies – CEOs & Chairmen (see About Us). If you would like to receive now, the FREE 22 page Special Report ’7 Sure-Fire Strategies to Boost Your Business‘ and then timely issues of the blog by email, subscribe – see left sidebar.
If you wish to buy immediately, any or all of the complete series of 19 modules in 3 volumes (over 594 pages), detailed below – these are like a mini MBA – a complete practical day to day handbook on starting, growing, running and promoting businesses – order as below. On ordering all 3 volumes you will receive FREE, the 4 Business Templates shown.
Starting Your Own Business
Leaving paid employment and starting your own business is a big step and in most cases, requires a lot of planning, as no one but you can make it work. I don’t suggest you do it my way, as I didn’t think it out thoroughly, but I was quite confident I would succeed and would learn along the way. I believe my story will help ‘would be’ entrepreneurs.
Why I Did It
In 1974, I was employed as Sales Director of a company that manufactured fittings for high voltage electricity transmission and distribution networks. I was offered this job in 1969. The company was based in Sydney, Australia and I jumped at the chance, as I was single and Sydney was an exciting city compared to Wellington, New Zealand where I had been working for 10 years. However I was not told the company intended to decentralise from Sydney to Wyong, about 2 hours drive north of Sydney. I was due to get married in 1975 and my wife and I certainly didn’t want to relocate there, so I began making plans to start my own business by registering a business name. I saw how my employers ran their business and I felt I could do it better, albeit not in the same field, as I believe you should never start in opposition to a past employer.
The Businesses & How I Grew Them
At that time colour television was being introduced to Australia and I decided to import components for local manufacturers. In the 50s, when I studied electrical engineering at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, the majority of students graduated in power engineering – electronics was a field we didn’t think had much of a future – how wrong we were! Although I had not majored in electronics, I knew enough to know what parts were appropriate and sourced these through the trade divisions of various foreign embassies in Sydney, particularly East European communist countries such as Rumania. Their prices were low and the local manufacturers became quite excited about the prices I was able to offer. However they asked for special modifications based on large quantities, but the communists declined, as such changes were not in their 5 year plan!
I decided to take some holidays and source the parts from Asia, another low cost but non communist source. After accumulating catalogs from the many companies I visited, I was leaving Taipei and at the airport visited a technological exhibition. I was intrigued by a company, Jenco Electronics which exhibited a digital pH meter. This was a first of its kind globally, a portable digital device with a virtually unbreakable electrode, so scientists could take the meter to the rivers, lakes, etc., to take readings, instead of collecting samples for analysis later in the lab. I placed some free editorial and a photo in ‘Factory Equipment News’ in Australia and received 89 inquiries. These meters were very popular and as I sold them, water quality scientists and technicians kept asking if I had turbidity meters, dissolved oxygen meters, conductivity meters, etc. I sourced these devices from the USA, Germany, etc., abandoned any further thoughts of importing colour television components and built up a business I called CHK Scientific, which I sold in 1991.
Meanwhile, I had been building a separate business named CHK Engineering, supplying electronic devices to electricity utilities, such as micro ohm meters, fault indicators (from several sources), etc. While importing was profitable and I made a worthwhile living, I believed I could design better fault indicators than those I imported, as utilities complained that sometimes the imported ones were triggering incorrectly. In a storm at 3 o’clock in the morning, trouble men spent hours searching for the fault in the wrong area, which they found exceedingly annoying! I applied for and received a substantial government grant to develop my idea, which unlike others on the market, was mounted on the pole rather than the conductor. These were quite successful, but still I received complaints, although not as frequently.
I decided to call in a distribution network expert, Dr. David Sweeting who was a world authority on the operation of electricity networks and after several more government grants, we developed a conductor mounted ‘LineTracker’ which logged all relevant data, such as line current, voltage, power factor, fault wave shapes, conductor temperature, etc. and overcame the errors complained about by the utilities, as well as providing other useful data for planners, maintenance staff and operational personnel. This was a world first and after travelling around North America, I decided to open an office in Denver, Colorado, as North America was the world’s largest English speaking market.
To finance the company, I floated it on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange, by buying a public company shell. We had several international patents on our technology and many large companies were intrigued by our LineTracker, now named LineIQ, to such an extent that one of the world’s largest engineering companies began negotiating to buy the company for A$210 million, even though in my opinion, the technology was ‘blue sky’ and still needed a lot of work before it was fully commercialised. Unfortunately about this time (2001) the ‘tech bubble’ burst and the acquisition company management was instructed not to proceed with any further negotiation. Our share price went south and we were unable to raise more capital. However we managed to survive, changed our name to GridSense Inc. and are now operating in California and Sydney, with many more products and employees.
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