Startup Professionals Musings

8 Smart Tips To Soliciting Friends And Family Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s great to start with a big dream as you contemplate a new business, but finding the money you need takes more than dreaming. As an advisor to young entrepreneurs, I find that many are a bit naïve about how the investment process really works.

7 Keys To Success With An Employee Ownership Culture

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the lessons I have learned over the years as a business executive, and now as a mentor to entrepreneurs, is that if you really want employees who enthusiastically take ownership of their work, you have to start treating them like owners, not renters.

7 Steps To Finding Investors Aligned With Your Values

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most common complaints I hear from new business owners and startups is about the pain and difficulty raising capital. The “venture capital” model is the only option they know, where they feel they get no mercy, giving up equity and control.

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7 Myths That Kill Many Businesses Before They Start

Startup Professionals Musings

You don’t have to be a new venture advisor like me to hear all the excuses for not starting your own business. I’m sure all of you have friends who are not happy in their employee roles, and are not shy about complaining, but never seem to get around to doing anything about it.

5 Motivations That Bode Well For New Venture Success

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup advisor, I see many aspiring entrepreneurs whose primary motivation seems to be to work part time, or get rich quick, or avoid anyone else telling them what to do.

10 Outsourcing Myths Jeopardize Too Many New Ventures

Startup Professionals Musings

These days, it is almost impossible to find a small business where everything is done at the home location, by full-time employees. We are in the age of outsourcing, by any of many popular names, including subcontracting, freelancing, and virtual assistants.

10 Investor Approaches To Avoid When You Need Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

Many new entrepreneurs are so excited by their latest idea that they can’t resist contacting every investor they know, assuming the investor will be equally excited and want to contribute immediately.

6 Lessons From Navy SEALs For New Venture Founders

Startup Professionals Musings

You have to be extra tough mentally to start a new business venture.

10 Strategies To Isolate Smart Risks In A New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

There is an old saying that good lawyers run away from risk, while good businessmen run towards risk. Entrepreneurs see “no risk” as meaning “no reward.” In reality, all risks are not the same.

6 Reasons Startups Need All Angels Plus Crowd Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs who require funding for their startup have long counted on self-accredited high net worth individuals (“angels”) to fill their needs, after friends and family, and before they qualify for institutional investments (“VCs”).

5 Key Decision Points Highlight Great Venture Leaders

Startup Professionals Musings

Most aspiring entrepreneurs are convinced that the strength of their initial idea somehow defines them as a leader, as well as the success potential of their derivative business. In my experience, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

6 Hurdles For Going Public Through A Reverse Merger

Startup Professionals Musings

With the current strong economy, as an active startup mentor, I’m seeing a new surge of entrepreneurs and startups, with the commensurate scramble for funding. There just aren’t enough angel investors and VCs to go around.

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10 Signs That The Age Of The Entrepreneur Is Here Now

Startup Professionals Musings

With the current strong economy, and sparked by the last recession, I’m seeing a real resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, and more startup activity than ever before.

The Good The Bad And The Ugly Of Funding From Friends

Startup Professionals Musings

In their passion to succeed, too many entrepreneurs treat friends and family investments as “low-hanging” fruit, only to find out later, after a stumble, that the pain of lost relationships is greater than the loss of their beloved startup.

5 Ways To Give Now For A Future Competitive Advantage

Startup Professionals Musings

Business partnerships have traditionally been agreements to drive more transactions than either company could do alone.

7 Modern Business Values Lead To Sustainable Profits

Startup Professionals Musings

As an entrepreneur, it’s never too early to set the culture you need for a thriving business, as well as thriving employees, customers, partners, and vendors.

AVIXA’s Heidi A. Voorhees on Thinking Differently

Startup Professionals Musings

Heidi A. Voorhees, CAE. EDUCATION Bachelor of arts, majoring in commercial recreation/business, Central Michigan University; master of business administration, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. MY FIRST INDUSTRY JOB Straight out of college — convention assistant, SmithBucklin.

5 Strategies To Capture Sustainability Opportunities

Startup Professionals Musings

As I have said many times, the cost of entry for an aspiring entrepreneur has never been lower, and the total wealth of opportunities has never been larger.

8 Strategies For Regularly Reinventing Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Sometimes entrepreneurs are so focused on making change happen for customers that they forget that continually changing themselves and their company is equally important.

5 New Venture Deliverables Put You Ahead Of The Crowd

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor to startups and new entrepreneurs, I continue to hear the refrain that business plans are no longer required for a new startup, since investors never read them anyway.

8 Elements Of A Mindset For Success In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Maybe starting a new business isn’t your passion, but in these days of rapid change, where everyone is dealing with uncertainty, I believe that thinking and acting like entrepreneurs will help you get ahead in any profession.

10 Ways To Jeopardize A New Venture Early And Often

Startup Professionals Musings

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs seem to prefer to fail their way to the top, rather than do some research and learn from the successes and mistakes of others. It seems to be part of the “ fail fast, fail often ” mantra often heard in Silicon Valley.

10 Questions To Ask Before Selecting A Search Firm

Startup Professionals Musings

I started out in business as a techy geek, so I understand why technologists starting a new venture spend so much effort getting the product just right. Yet I’ve learned over time that building the business is all about having the right team members.

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6 Dream Team Members Will Energize Any Tech Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

In my years of advising startups and occasional investing, I’ve seen many great ideas start and fail, but the right team always seems to make good things happen, even without the ultimate idea. That’s why investors say they invest in people (bet on the jockey, not the horse), rather than the idea.

7 Strategies For Anticipating Future Customer Trends

Startup Professionals Musings

The market is changing so fast these days, and if you are not planning a solution today for tomorrow’s customers, you may be setting yourself up for failure and don’t even realize it. There are always new competitors who are planning their arrival tomorrow.

8 Attributes Of The Most Creative Startup Founders

Startup Professionals Musings

An entrepreneur is literally “one who creates a new business.” The best new businesses are ones that have never been done before, so mastering creativity and recognizing creativity are key skills and mindsets. But how does one recognize and nurture creativity in a person or team?

7 Keys To Leading Your Team And Business To Success

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the realities of being an entrepreneur is that you have to keep learning and changing to survive. Everyone on the startup team knows there is no buffer, and no personal isolation from impact based on your job description that can save you.

10 Strategies To Kick Up How You Will Be Remembered

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur and business leader waits too long before really working on the legacy that he wants to leave to society and his family.

6 Steps To Empowered Employees And Unstoppable Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business advisor, one of the things I see most often as a drag to productivity and growth is employees who, despite their best efforts, can’t change things that they know are hurting the company.

10 New Venture Approaches That Can Jeopardize Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting a new business is a serious undertaking. Yet many aspiring entrepreneurs I know approach it as a fun project, get-rich quick scheme, or perhaps an expensive hobby.

10 Top Revenue Models Drive Viable Businesses Today

Startup Professionals Musings

I was mentoring some graduate students at a local university recently, and I sensed again that profit seems to be a dirty word these days to many aspiring entrepreneurs.

8 Keys To Migration From A Consultant To A Freelancer

Startup Professionals Musings

Being a consultant is a role that works with big companies, but I have found that it doesn’t get much traction in small businesses and startups.

7 Plan Elements That Separate Businesses From Hobbies

Startup Professionals Musings

Unless you are a serial entrepreneur with a string of successes behind you, you need a business plan to convince investors that you can build a business out of the dream that has been driving your passion to change the world.

10 Negatives That Still Make Going Public A High Risk

Startup Professionals Musings

In the old days, every entrepreneur dreamed of easily taking their startup public, and making it big. Today the rate of startups going public (IPO – Initial Public Offering) is up from the dead zone, but is still half the rate of 15 years ago.

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8 Ways Startups Are Changing The Way Businesses Work

Startup Professionals Musings

The new era of highly connected and interactive technology is changing not only how business employees interact with customers, but also how they interact with each other, and with their company.

7 Steps For Counseling Employees Who Need To Change

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to entrepreneurs and new business owners, I’ve long observed that one of the toughest challenges is people change management in the team. It’s an area where you typically have little experience and training, and dealing with needed change is fraught with emotions on both sides.

10 Strategies For Leaders To Drive Disruptive Change

Startup Professionals Musings

How is it that only a few business leaders and entrepreneurs seem to drive exceptional results and disruptive innovation in this rapidly changing market economy (marketquake)? These few seem more adept at executing market and technology turns, not just incremental evolution.

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6 Guidelines On How And When To Use Non-Disclosures

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to entrepreneurs, I often have to deal with people who are convinced that they must get me to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before they begin talks about their new venture.

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6 Strategies To Build Traction and Validate Your Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to many new venture founders, I often hear their frustration at being told by investors “I love your idea, but come back when you have more traction.” As a member of an angel investment group, I have to admit this is probably the most common rejection we issue.

10 Rules For Business Success That Haven’t Changed

Startup Professionals Musings

In this world of constant change, new technologies, and a thousand cultures, it’s evident and somehow comforting to me that the basic rules for business prosperity really haven’t changed in the last hundred years. Business success is still more about the people than the technology or idea involved.