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.

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.

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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 Controversial Lessons From Serious Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Most people agree that entrepreneurs have to think differently and take risks to have much chance of building a successful business.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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 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 Business Idea Assertions Mask The Real Challenge

Startup Professionals Musings

Most people think innovation is all about ideas, when in fact it is more about delivery, people, and process.

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 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.

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 Effective Team Leadership In Startups Today

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting and running a company is a team effort. Yes, it takes a leader (entrepreneur), but you can’t do it alone, without a team. Maybe only you and a co-founder comprise the team at first, to provide key skills, back you up, and test your ideas.

Great Businesses Focus On Solutions, Not Technologies

Startup Professionals Musings

Even though I love technology, I always cringe when an entrepreneur starts an angel investor pitch to me by touting his new technology. They have forgotten that new technologies are perceived by most customers as causing more pain than the problems they eliminate.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

5 Stages of Technology Adoption Compared To Grieving

Startup Professionals Musings

How many times have investors heard startups start their pitch by touting that their technology is “disruptive?”

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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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.

Is Your Leadership Style Motivating or Demoralizing?

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business leader realizes their primary objective is to motivate people to do what is required, yet all of us with any experience in business tend to remember most those times when we felt highly demotivated by our leaders.

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.

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.

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 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.