The Loch-Ness of the Humourless

Originally posted on October 26, 2005. All edits made by Tim Enterprises 2006.

Earlier this month Rodale Books released a new book. The title? The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Grow, or Manage a Business. The author? Martha Stewart. Yes, the convicted felon, Martha Stewart. Someone has deemed it appropriate for Martha Stewart to right a book on business. So, I figure, if a person jailed for breaking business laws is allowed to write a book on business, I, too, can write a book on the same topic. And I haven't been jailed at all.

So here are my 10 rules for starting and running a small business.
  1. Ignore all laws and ethics that relate to business. For that matter, you can ignore all laws in general. This is first and foremost, because a) this is the foundation of managing a successful business and b) it is the most obvious joke. Ignoring business ethics, that's the Martha Stewart way.

  2. Of course, you need to have some sort of service or products that the masses need. Better yet, sell something that people don't need, but think they need. For example: Can opener/radio, vacuum cleaner/blender or phone book/frying pan (Copyright: Tim Enterprises 2006)

  3. Intellectual theft. What's easier than taking someone else's product, changing it slightly, and then remarketting it? Not much, seeing as there are plenty of companies making a mint off of this right now. I mean, look at most of those little gadgets they sell on those Canadian Tire ads. Oooooh, look! It bends! My drill doesn't do that!

  4. Budgets are completely arbitrary. If you have investors, you will likely have to make up a budget. This sounds difficult. So don't do it. If it is hard, it isn't worth doing. Random guessing, using lotto numbers, or using the phone numbers of close relatives are all viable substitutes to real expenses.

  5. The government helps small businesses get off the ground. Exploit this as much as possible. Pocket business loans.

  6. Similarily, you can write off business expenses come tax time. Exploit this as much as possible. Gas, lunches, gold watches, drugs (drug dealing is a business too!), alcohol (for when your business is inevitably pushed out by WalMart), or a Dodge Viper can all be written off, with a little clever phrasing. You'll have to claim bankruptcy soon anyways, so why not?

  7. Have well-known celebrities and professionals give endorsements. I know, this isn't really possible. Second-rate celebrities will do. "I had a walk-on role on some TV show you've never heard of! And look, I can make a smoothie while vacuuming up this smoothie I made earlier!" Or, take a page out of Sony's book, and make up a fake movie reviewer who gives glowing endorsements (apparently Sony actually did this... look it up).

  8. Advertise. This can be expensive. However there are untapped advertising options out there. For example, homeless people. They've often got cardboard signs anyways. They'll be thankful for the job, and there are plenty of people who pass by them.

  9. Franchising. Buying a lot in a mall is expensive, be it a big box mall or a indoor mall. However, there is one area that is rarely used. Lemonade stand type franchising. I can tell you I've been taken in multiple times by young children hocking lemonade or freezies. Who can resist an 8-year-old? Perhaps this might be something that the labour associations might be opposed to, but they are a bunch of whiners, so why listen to them?

  10. Finally, do you need someone to make your goods? Is getting children in 3rd world countries to make your phone book/frying pans proving difficult and expensive? Why not use trained monkeys? While initial costs may be a bit expensive, you don't have to pay monkeys, so this will pay off in the end. Perhaps this might be something that PETA might be opposed to, but they are a bunch of whiners, so why listen to them?

So, that concludes Tim's Rules on how to start and manage a small business. Take my advice and you will find success. (Success is copyrighted by Tim Enterprises 2006. Any and all success found is a result of Tim Enterprises and all monies arising from said success belong to Tim Enterprises.)

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