Startup Professionals Musings

Keep A Real Job Until Your New Venture Shows Traction

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the big decisions every aspiring entrepreneur has to make is when to quit your current job to devote yourself fulltime to your new startup. Some of you are so committed to the new passion that you quit your day job early, and dedicate all your time and resources to the new venture.

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Early Adopters Are Not Enough To Assure Your Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Every technical entrepreneur is an early adopter of technology, so naturally they build things with people like themselves in mind.

8 Ways To Ensure Team Accountability In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes feel that accountability is a rare talent in business today. In big businesses, people are quick to defer with “that’s not my department,” and even startup founders too often blame failures on the economy or the lack of investors.

7 Skills Every Startup Team Needs To Get Things Done

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.

5 Tips For Making Your Whole Team A Marketing Machine

Startup Professionals Musings

As the rate of change continues to increase in business and technology, the more I’m convinced that marketing is the primary key to success for a new venture. Yet I find that many technical founders don’t feel they need it at all, or at best point to one person on the team who is marketing.

8 Key Skill Sets Required For Success In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience in large businesses as well as years of advising startups, I see far too much focus on product skills, and too little on people and process skills.

Even the Best Startup Solutions Need Modern Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time advisor to aspiring entrepreneurs, and a technology fan myself, I still meet dozens of techies with great solutions who assume they don’t need marketing to change the world. They subscribe to the myth that “if we build it, they will come.”

Businesses Need Employee Engagement More Than Process

Startup Professionals Musings

The days of leadership without engagement are gone. With interactive social media and video everywhere, everyone needs to feel they have a relationship with their leaders, and every brand needs leader personification for customers to relate.

6 Powerful Drivers Shared By Successful Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience mentoring new entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders, I see far too many who seem to be driven by all the wrong reasons.

7 Tips To Test Your Idea As A Part-Time Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Many experts will tell you that you can’t succeed as a part-time entrepreneur, as any good startup will require a 100 percent commitment of your time and energy. But not many of us have enough savings to live for a year or more without a salary, fund the startup, and still feed the family.

Boost Your New Venture By Teaming With An Incubator

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the reasons that now is the time to be an entrepreneur is the explosion of startup assistance organizations, usually called incubators or accelerators.

7 Attributes Of People With An Entrepreneur Mindset

Startup Professionals Musings

As an angel investor and a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I’m always disappointed to see founders who seem stressed out most of the time, and more annoyed than energized by the abundance of challenges they see in building their startup.

8 Keys To Market Delivery Of Innovative Technologies

Startup Professionals Musings

Since I am a techie at heart, I always get excited when founders pitch their new innovation as “disruptive,” meaning that it is so unique that it will create a new market and disrupt the existing value network, displacing established products and markets.

5 Market Obstacles That Kill Even Compelling Products

Startup Professionals Musings

Even when your new product or solution fills a real customer need, and has a positive value proposition, many new venture founders are surprised and frustrated to find that excited customers are hard to find and growth is slow.

7 Strategies To Create Your Own Market And Win Bigger

Startup Professionals Musings

New technology markets and paradigm shifts have traditionally been bad bets when seeking investors, since these were known to take decades to develop, and cost lots of money.

Effective Marketing Today Begins With A Conversation

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time advisor to small businesses and startups, I still find many who think marketing is still primarily broadcasting your message to as many customers as possible, hitting them again and again, until it sticks.

5 Strategy Realities For Running Your Small Business

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor and mentor for many startups and small business founders, following my initial career in big business, I realize that the key strategies to achieve success in small businesses are often different from those that make larger businesses successful.

10 Ways Entrepreneurs Find Money To Start A Business

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most frequent questions I get as a mentor to entrepreneurs is “How do I find the money to start my business?”

7 Ways College Degrees Can Expedite Startup Success

Startup Professionals Musings

A popular myth these days is that finishing college only dilutes your entrepreneurial instincts, and the best of the best, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, dropped out early to hasten their success. I agree with Robert E.

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7 Steps To A Memorable New Venture Marketing Rollout

Startup Professionals Musings

Even with instant two-way communication via the Internet and mobile phones, your greatest new solution or service won’t found or properly recognized without marketing.

5 Key Elements Of A Winning Business Strategy Today

Startup Professionals Musings

Does your business have a visible positive strategy, or do your customers and employees still see your primary focus as closing more sales and killing competitors?

Make Yourself A Key Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Startup Professionals Musings

The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners I know are humble, and they don’t have an inflated sense of self.

Apply Hospitality-Driven Thinking to Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

I just finished a new book by Stephen J. Cloobeck, “ Checking In: Hospitality-Driven Thinking, Business, and You ”.

10 Keys To Reducing The Risk The Second Time Around

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs who experience success with their first startup are often amazed to realize that the risks and fears of doing it right the second time go up, rather than down.

7 Tips For Building The Right People Relationships

Startup Professionals Musings

In big business, as well as startups, I have found that your effectiveness can be highly correlated to your ability to build and maintain people relationships, often more so than hard work, or how many hours you give.

Adopt An Entrepreneur Mindset To Enhance Your Career

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the big differences between an entrepreneur and an employee of a big business is that employees tend to have a very narrow focus on their job, while entrepreneurs have to keep the broader focus on business. Both want personal satisfaction and financial success. In fact, U.S.

Equity Investment Platform Preparation Best Practices

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are one of the thousands of entrepreneurs who need equity funding to get your startup going (no loans to repay), you are probably overwhelmed at the prospect of finding, contacting and pitching to the huge number of qualified angels and investment groups around the country.

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7 Keys To Timely And Compelling New Venture Progress

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most important skills for every entrepreneur is timely and effective decision making. In a startup, any decision is better than no decision. One of the primary roles of every founder is to solve problems, make a decision, and manage the decision to results.

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5 Criteria For Splitting Equity In Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

I always tell entrepreneurs that two heads are better than one, so the first task in many startups is finding a co-founder or two. You need to find the skills or experience you don’t have in business, technology, or money.

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10 Attributes Of The Ideal New Venture Job Candidate

Startup Professionals Musings

In a corporate environment, the focus of a job interview has long been demonstrating your match to the skills and experience outlined in the job description. In my experience with startups, that is still necessary, but not sufficient.

7 Ways To Be A Great Manager And Leader For Your Team

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the things I’ve learned in working with aspiring entrepreneurs is that managing and leading a team is a scary venture into the unknown for many people, even if they have worked as a business professional for years.

6 Keys To Maximizing Your Content Marketing Impact

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs have always believed that their product or service must show real value to customers, but today the smart ones are even able to make their marketing valuable. The days are gone when marketing was all “pushing product.”

6 Story Attributes Will Highlight Your Business Pitch

Startup Professionals Musings

The biggest challenge for every entrepreneur and every startup today is to get noticed and remembered in today’s information overload. The number of entrepreneurs worldwide is huge, starting an estimated 50 million new businesses per year, or 137,000 per day.

7 New Venture Scenarios That Rarely Attract Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

If you aren’t willing to take some risk as an entrepreneur, then don’t expect any gain. Yet everyone has limits, and every investor implicitly has similar limits on what makes a startup investable, or one to avoid at all costs.

How Today’s Full Customer Buying Journey Is Critical

Startup Professionals Musings

In today’s totally interconnected world with its abundance of information, choices, and marketing, how your customers buy has drastically changed. Buying has evolved from a simple transaction decision to multi-faceted experience.

7 Strategies To Avoid the Curse of Business-As-Usual

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time advisor to entrepreneurs and business owners, I rarely find someone who doesn’t proclaim that the business world is changing rapidly, with new technology, new customer expectations, and new cultures.

8 Tips For Quantifying Traction In Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

What is the definition of traction for a business startup today? According to most investors I know, traction is some clear evidence that the “dogs are eating the dog food” – usually meaning that you have at least one customer paying full price for your solution.

6 Steps To Creating A Business Legacy That You Love

Startup Professionals Musings

Before you start down the long hard road of an entrepreneur, it pays to look inside yourself to see what you love to do, and what would fit your definition of success. For some, it’s all about the chance to run your own show, or advance a cause that you are passionate about.

5 Indications That You Can Survive Startup Failures

Startup Professionals Musings

You can’t survive as an entrepreneur without resilience, because you are going to fail at least once, maybe multiple times. That’s the nature of trying something that’s never been done before. Resilience means not giving up, and being energized by what you have learned.

How to Have a Winning Career, Despite Constant Change

Startup Professionals Musings

Most young people who are completing their educational degree today think they will have learned all they need for their career ahead. Unfortunately, based on my own extensive experience in business, I have to tell them in my talks that most of what they know now will be obsolete in a few years.

6 Value Propositions That Resonate With All Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Young entrepreneurs often are so excited by new technology or their latest invention that they forget to translate it into a value proposition that their customers or potential investors can understand and relate to.

5 Keys To Minimizing The Burn Rate For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Cash flow is a basic survival metric for every startup. Investors check your burn rate to assess your efficiency, and project your remaining runway before you run out of money and into a brick wall.

5 Steps To Strategy Tuning Through Machine Learning

Startup Professionals Musings

Conventional thinking in business has long been that strategy decisions are made by humans, while the focus of automation and machine learning should be on execution.