Startup Professionals Musings

5 Principles For Working With Someone You Don’t Like

Startup Professionals Musings

One thing is certain in any business – not everyone you have to deal with will be like you, or will like you (and vice versa). These people may include one of your business partners, an investor, a key vendor, or even one of your best customers.

10 Steps To Investing Successfully In New Ventures

Startup Professionals Musings

Investing in entrepreneurs and startups is a fun but different world from investing in conventional stocks, bonds, and commodities. First of all, it’s more of an investment in people than in a business, since the startup is usually an idea barely half-baked when they need your money.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

10 Common Dilemmas That Derail Many Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs struggle with many startup founders dilemmas in building their business, and these key dilemmas are probably the biggest source of pain and failure for the entrepreneur lifestyle.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

8 Principles For Keeping Customers With You For Life

Startup Professionals Musings

Most businesses spend big money testing their brand logo, catchy marketing phrases, and demographics, but spend little time training and validating that their employees can and do deliver memorable experiences to their customers.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

10 Principles For Surviving New Business Challenges

Startup Professionals Musings

As the economy flourishes after some tough economic times, more and more people seem to be turning to entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional employment. I applaud this trend, but caution all of you thinking this direction to approach entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open.

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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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.

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.

These 8 Disciplines Define A Fundable Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

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

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.

Startups Need Great Execution More Than Great Ideas

Startup Professionals Musings

A popular approach for aspiring entrepreneurs these days seems to be to corner anyone who will listen, with a pitch on their current “million dollar idea.” The initial monologue usually ends with the question “How much money do you think this is worth?”