Startup Professionals Musings

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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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.

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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.

6 Ways To Spot Innovative Thinkers For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs are usually highly creative and innovative, but many innovative people are not entrepreneurs. Since it takes a team of people to build a great company, the challenge is to find that small percentage of innovative people, and then nurture the tendency, rather than stifle it.

8 Unconscious Biases Shape Your Business Decisions

Startup Professionals Musings

Every boss and decision maker is convinced that he or she is able to look objectively at any problem, and make an unbiased decision. Some typically worry about biases in their team, but rarely think of themselves as a source of bias.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

10 Behaviors That Highlight Your Leadership Ability

Startup Professionals Musings

Based on my years of experience as a new business advisor, I always find leadership to be more important to business success than any new technology or innovative solution. The challenge is to adequately define leadership in terms of everyday activities.

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.

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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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.

8 Keys To Positive Media Attention For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Not so long ago, training to meet the press and television reporters was a realm reserved for top business executives only. Now, even the earliest stage startup can rise to visibility or be forever lost by their first media spotlight, so it behooves us all to know the rules early.

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7 Initiatives To Streamline and Focus Your Company

Startup Professionals Musings

Success in today’s rapidly changing and highly competitive business environment requires a total alignment between the needs of each business function and the priorities of all team members.

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.

9 Keys To Maximizing Your Business Leadership Impact

Startup Professionals Musings

In this age of social media and world-wide Internet, message delivery from business leaders needs to change, just like the message changes from leaders in your personal lives.

7 New Business Ideas Whose Time Has Come and Gone

Startup Professionals Musings

As an angel investor, I sometimes worry that all the viable unique ideas must already be taken.

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.

5 Reasons NOT To Start With A Non-Profit Business

Startup Professionals Musings

A common misconception I often hear in the startup world is that non-profits are easy and safe, since they don’t have to pay taxes, and they don’t have to make a profit for their shareholders. In reality, from the feedback I get from non-profit executives, exactly the opposite is true.

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.

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.

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.

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 Characteristics Of Paradigm-Shifting Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

What sparks paradigm-shifting innovation in any business? It’s a special mix of entrepreneur and company, regular in every respect except for having the courage and foresight to make an idea happen that was supposed to be impossible.

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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.

Why You Should Enlist a Business Mentor, Or Be One

Startup Professionals Musings

Building a business is not rocket science, so there is no magic success formula. Some people think you need to get an MBA to get it right, while others are convinced that those who drop out of school early (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg) have the advantage.

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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.

5 Technologies Here Today That Will Change Your Life

Startup Professionals Musings

As a new business advisor and technologist, I often think about the large array of opportunities for entrepreneurs as technology seems to be evolving faster and faster. Yet I still too often hear the question, “Can you give me a really sure-fire idea for starting my own business?”

5 Indications That Your Startup Is Poised For Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup wants to be a predictable success, yet so few ever achieve this enviable position. In reality, getting there is not a random walk, and requires an understanding of the stages that every business must navigate and the organizational characteristics necessary at each stage.

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.

6 Elements Of Every Message Stand Out Above The Text

Startup Professionals Musings

Effective communication is an absolute requirement for successfully starting a business, but it doesn’t come naturally to many entrepreneurs. Communication is considered a social skill, and inventors and engineers, for example, are not known to be social butterflies.

10 Qualities That Will Make You An Entrepreneur Idol

Startup Professionals Musings

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be a fabulous person, but it helps. Some people, and some entrepreneurs, have that something extra that you can’t quite put your finger on, like Ryan Seacrest is searching for on American Idol.

9 Steps To A Balanced Business – Purpose vs Execution

Startup Professionals Musings

I’m a big proponent of building your business based on a higher purpose, rather than financial gain alone. Today I find that some entrepreneurs, are putting all their focus on a social or environmental cause, and perhaps naively expect that purpose alone will lead to a sustainable business.

7 Partner Relationships That Can Kill A Good Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs who start a company alone soon come to the conclusion that two heads are better than one – someone to share the workload, the hard decisions, and the costs. In a moment of crisis, you may be tempted to take on the first person expressing interest as a co-founder.

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.

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.

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7 Accepted Startup Principles Violated By Steve Jobs

Startup Professionals Musings

Steve Jobs was a one-in-a-million entrepreneur who seemed to violate many conventional rules of starting a business and dealing with people, yet undeniably achieved great success.

6 Ways Startups Are Fooled By Prior Business Models

Startup Professionals Musings

As an entrepreneur mentor and startup investor, I see with sadness the 50 to 90 percent that fail. If you ask them for a reason, most will insist that they couldn’t get funding, or they ran out of money too early. But I’m not convinced that it’s as simple as that.