Startup Professionals Musings

Startups Need Employees Who React Like Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup lucky enough to get some traction gets to the point where they decide to hire some “regular employees” for sales, marketing, and administrative tasks. Then they are surprised to see productivity and creativity take a big dip.

6 Situations Where A Business Plan Does Not Add Value

Startup Professionals Musings

Writing a business plan is hard work, so I get lots of pushback from prospective new venture founders that it’s just a waste of their valuable time in this rapidly changing environment. They all claim to have the plan in their head, and writing it down will only slow down their success.

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The Business Model Canvas Can Get Your Startup Funded

Startup Professionals Musings

New entrepreneurs are always looking for a shortcut in getting their venture story and plan across to investors, and closing on the funding they need.

8 Leadership Lapses Every Business Owner Must Avoid

Startup Professionals Musings

Even entrepreneurs who have built many startups, or sold their last one for millions of dollars, know they make occasional people leadership mistakes. They know leadership is all about managing their own complicated, illogical, and fallible human foibles, as well as the people they depend on.

10 Guidelines For Storytelling To Hype Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

The entrepreneur’s challenge is to effectively communicate their value proposition, not only to customers, but also to vendors, partners, investors, and their own team. Especially for technical founders, this is normally all about presenting impressive facts. But in reality facts only go so far.

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4 Chasms And 5 Customer Types That Kill Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Everyone in the business world has heard of the old bestseller by Geoffrey A. Moore titled “ Crossing the Chasm ,” but most entrepreneurs have no idea how it relates to them.

7 Leadership Principles To Get You From Smart To Wise

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the entrepreneurs I have met are smart, but many are not always wise.

4 Startup Survival Lessons Lead To Business Success

Startup Professionals Musings

The good news is that the rate of new entrepreneurship leveled off a bit last year, although it is still rising, according to the latest Kauffman Index of startup activity.

If You Can’t Find An Angel Investor, Look Again, Here

Startup Professionals Musings

If your startup is looking for an angel investor, it makes sense to present your plan to flocks of angels, and assume that at least one will swoop down and scoop you up. Or does it? Actually numbers and locations are just the beginning.

How to Pick a Partner Who Will Amplify Your Efforts

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time business advisor and angel investor, I’m a believer that “two heads are better than one” in building a new business. Very few entrepreneurs have the range of skills and experience to be the solution creator as well as business creator, or operational as well as sales leader.

10 Answers That Make Your Startup Plan Investable

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs who are looking to attract investors need to develop and pitch a plan -- preferably written -- that answers every potential investor question about your startup before it is asked.

7 Strategies For A Low Entry-Cost Sustainable Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

If your dream has long been to start and manage your own business, there is no time like the present to get started. The cost of entry is at an all-time low, working from home through an Internet website seen globally, turning a hobby or an invention into an online business.

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6 Key Attributes That Investors Look For In A CEO

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business needs that ultimate leader and decision maker at the top, commonly given the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Sometimes it’s the business founder, and in other cases the CEO is recruited by the founder or investors to complement the skills of the technical team.

12 Types Of Conversations Needed To Grow A Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Whether you are trying to motivate your team, close a deal with a customer, or get funding from an investor, a casual conversation is usually a waste of your valuable time. These result is a founder who is always “too busy,” but never seems to get the business done and the team moving.

6 Key Leadership Habits Required For Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting and building a company is all about leadership – formulating an idea, building a unique plan based on vision and experience, and forging a path over and through all obstacles.

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need To Highlight Small Wins

Startup Professionals Musings

Managing and motivating a team in a startup is more than just using the right interpersonal skills. It’s more than providing recognition, tangible incentives, and clear work goals.

6 Steps To Saying No At Work To Your Boss And Peers

Startup Professionals Musings

Every dedicated business professional I know can’t find enough hours in a day to do their best work, and yet they often find themselves saying yes to new requests from the people around them.

10 Personality Types That Shouldn’t Be Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

People who get stressed managing their own lives don’t make good entrepreneurs. Small businesses require multi-tasking, work prioritization, and decision-making, with no assistants or help from specialists. That’s why Fortune 500 executives usually don’t survive as startup CEOs.

4 Traits To Strive For To Make You An Extreme Leader

Startup Professionals Musings

By definition, most entrepreneurs are thought leaders. They have the ability to recognize a market need, the skills to design and implement a solution, and the drive to start a business from that solution. It all comes from within themselves.

10 Business Lessons On Trust From Spiritual Leaders

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the first harsh realities that every entrepreneur has to learn is that most of the things that are critical to startup success are outside of their direct control.

7 Key Steps From a Million Dollar Idea To a Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Based on my own experience as a startup investor, and feedback from like-minded friends, we all get pitches for at least ten startup ideas for every one new business plan. New business founders need to remember that investors fund business implementations, not ideas.

7 Keys To Positioning For Success In The Gig Economy

Startup Professionals Musings

In case you hadn’t noticed, the world of business is becoming more and more a “gig economy.” This simply means that the number of people with a long-term single-employer agreement is going down, and the number of short-term contractors and freelancers is going up.

10 Unconventional Management Techniques That Work

Startup Professionals Musings

I’ve been a manager in business for many years, and like most of you, I’ve also had my share of bad managers, as well as a few good ones. As a result, I’m certainly convinced that engaging, retaining, and developing people for maximum performance is one of the toughest jobs you will ever have.

9 Reasons Why Execution Trumps Thinking In Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In my role as an advisor to entrepreneurs and new businesses, I often get asked to critique an idea, but rarely get asked to comment on an implementation plan, or execution actions to date.

Smart Entrepreneurs Build Startups Without Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience as an advisor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I often encounter the myth that an initial startup requires investors.

10 Actions That Will Transform You From Good To Great

Startup Professionals Musings

Everyone recognizes a great leader when they work with one, but most leaders don’t know what to look for in themselves that will drive that perception by others.

8 Ways To Inspire Lifetime Loyalty From Key Employees

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s a whole new world out there in the workplace. Millennials want work that matters, and don’t care for hierarchies. Boomers are coming back to work, but because of their experience, they may be insulted by constant feedback.

8 Entrepreneur Challenges Founders Don’t Anticipate

Startup Professionals Musings

Every new entrepreneur who has not spent years in corporate life has the advantage of an unbiased look at business opportunities, but at the same time has the disadvantage of missing critical business experiences that can cost them dearly in their first startup venture.

Every Startup Needs Intellectual Property To Thrive

Startup Professionals Musings

A large portion of your competitive advantage and your potential value to investors is the size of your intellectual property portfolio. When someone says Intellectual Property (IP), most entrepreneurs think only of patents.

10 Entrepreneur Shortcuts To Be Avoided At All Costs

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting a new business is a long, hard process, and I can’t blame any founder for looking for shortcuts. I’ve taken a few myself, and I know how much work they can save, as well as how painful some can be in retrospect.

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6 Growth Barriers Most Startups Don’t See Coming

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur thinks he can relax a bit after his business model is proven, funding is in place, and revenues are scaling as projected up that hockey-stick curve.

6 Startup Strategies That Turn Off Most Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Don’t bash the competition. Every investor knows how vulnerable a new startup is to competitors, so investors always ask about your sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.

How Entrepreneurs Select And Nurture Top Performers

Startup Professionals Musings

Isn’t it amazing that some people you know always seem to be working hard, but never seem to get anything done? As an entrepreneur, you need to avoid partnering with these people, or hiring them into your startup. The challenge is to find people who get things done, as well as work hard.

8 Keys To Getting Real Value From Business Networking

Startup Professionals Musings

There is no skill more vital to an entrepreneur than effective networking. You can’t build your business alone, and networking is the best way to open doors, professionally and personally.

6 Ways To Attract A Flock Of Angels To Your Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Fundraising is brutal. Actually, according to Paul Graham of Y-Combinator fame, “Raising money is the second hardest part of starting a startup. The hardest part is making something people want.” More startups may fail for that reason, but a close second is the difficulty of raising money.

10 Behavioral Tips To Raise Your Cool Factor At Work

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business professional needs to stay cool under pressure, to be a top performer, and for the sake of their own health. Yet everyone has a melting point – a critical threshold where pressure causes them to respond irrationally.

10 Ways To Prepare For Competitors You Don’t See Yet

Startup Professionals Musings

When you are starting a business with an exciting new idea, it’s easy to dismiss potential competitors as not being in the same space, or too fat, dumb, and happy to be concerned that you even exist.

6 Tools To Assess Your Potential As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many people, young and older, let their career and their lifestyle happen to them, rather than proactively making things happen based on their personal passions, skills, and interests.

5 Steps To Startup Success Recommended By Many Gurus

Startup Professionals Musings

I see more and more entrepreneurs who seem to have everything going for them – vision, motivation, passion, even a good business plan, product, and money, and yet they can’t close customers.

7 Writing Rules Eliminate Any Failure To Communicate

Startup Professionals Musings

Even in this age of videos and text messages, the quickest way to kill your startup dream with investors, business partners, or even customers, is embarrassingly poor writing.