Startup Professionals Musings

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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 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?”

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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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 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.

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.

When To Enlist A Board Of Directors Or Advisory Board

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs I know are confused by definition and need for an Advisory Board versus a Board of Directors.

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.

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.

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.

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 Cases Where Quick-To-Market Beats Market Research

Startup Professionals Musings

I know entrepreneurs who have suffered from premature execution often associated with the ready-fire-aim quick-to-market approach. Yet I believe that many more have benefited from this approach, especially in early startup stages.

5 Ways To Get Beyond Linear Thinking In New Ventures

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s time for more entrepreneurs to reset their focus, and shift their thinking to completely different ways of doing things.

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.

Why Mentors Are Needed To Spark Future Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time mentor and advisor to new business owners, I can attest to both the need for mentoring, and the satisfaction that comes from watching an aspiring but tentative entrepreneur grow into someone capable of changing the world.

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.

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.

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.

5 Steps On The Success Path For Every Small Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs always work hard to create an innovative product or service, but often count on standard seller marketing for sales. But the reality is that sellers are no longer in charge of the customer buying process.

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.

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.

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 Strategies to Keep Your Business Self-Sustaining

Startup Professionals Musings

Every new business owner looks forward to the day when their business becomes self-sustaining, and settles into a long-term growth curve that will assure financial success, as well as a lasting legacy.

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.

5 Success Practices of Ultra-Effective Business Teams

Startup Professionals Musings

It takes an effective team to attract and serve a community in business these days.

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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These 8 Disciplines Define A Fundable Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Aspiring entrepreneurs often ask me what to do first when starting a business.

6 Key Elements Of Marketing Content To Fuel A Launch

Startup Professionals Musings

Your marketing launch is the most important element of startup success these days, to get customer attention in this world of information overload. Yet it is the one element that too many entrepreneurs focus on only as an afterthought.

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.

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.

Don't Fall for These 6 Deadly Myths of Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by Side Wages Some entrepreneurs forget that they need an innovative business model along with an innovative solution to have a successful startup. Inventors alone, or business gurus alone, generally fail. It really takes a complementary pair of founders to improve the odds.

7 Startup Strategies For The Next Dot Com Billionaire

Startup Professionals Musings

Many aspiring entrepreneurs are looking to the Internet as an opportunity to get rich quick, instead of a place where you can start a business you love, for very little capital and minimal technical expertise.

10 Proactive Ways to Build Engagement From Your Team

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business wishes that all their employees were star performers, but wishing doesn’t make it happen. Some coaches and leaders seem to have the magic for bringing out the best in everyone.