Startup Professionals Musings

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.

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.

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 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.

7 Keys To Improving The Odds On Your New Idea Success

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience, consummate entrepreneurs tend come up with more startup ideas than they can ever implement, and some of the ideas may not even make business sense. But how does any entrepreneur know which ideas to implement, and which ones are best left behind?

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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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.

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.

6 Market Research Sources That Fit A Limited Budget

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs are so enamored with their product vision that they believe their own hype, and are convinced that the market for their solution is so huge that no one will ask them for independent market research data.

8 Keys To Keeping Up With Technology In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Technology is so key to every business these days that experienced business-smart but non-tech entrepreneurs are feeling deeper and deeper in the hole.

7 Keys To Selecting A Startup Idea That Works For You

Startup Professionals Musings

A common request I hear from aspiring entrepreneurs is for an assessment of their latest idea. I don’t even try to assess things at the idea level, since I can’t read minds. I can assess execution plans, if you have any.

Grant Applications Often Provide Early-Stage Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

A critical stage for most first-time entrepreneurs is getting their idea developed into at least a prototype to validate their technology.

7 Business Realities To Temper Invention Excitement

Startup Professionals Musings

Every inventor seems to think their invention is worth a million dollars, but I haven’t seen anyone pay that much for one yet.

Growing A Services Business Requires Selling Yourself

Startup Professionals Musings

The critical success factors for a product business are well known, starting with selling every unit with a gross margin of 50 percent or more, building a patent and other intellectual property, and continuous product improvement.

How to Keep Your Business From Running Your Life

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur I meet in my role as a small business advisor dreams of making the business run like clockwork, even without them.

A Startup That Imitates, With Innovation, Often Wins

Startup Professionals Musings

It may not be as sexy, but starting a new business which builds on an existing technology or business model is usually less risky than introducing that ultimate new disruptive technology.

7 Equity Crowdfunding Risks Feared By Many Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Although professional investors may discount the impact of crowdfunding, they can’t argue with the growth of this new industry in the last few years. According to statistics by Fundly , crowdfunding contributed $34 billion in funding last year around the world, including peer-to-peer lending.

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How To Find Money Based On Your New Venture Progress

Startup Professionals Musings

Time is too precious to waste trying to close a deal with the wrong investors at the wrong time. Luckily, not all investors are looking for the same thing, so it pays to know what type of investors are most interested in what your startup brings to the table.

10 Venture Realities Will Position Your Business Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are one of the new age of entrepreneurs who hates the thought of doing a business plan as a first step in starting your new venture you will love this message.

8 Management Behaviors Drive Change Without Crisis

Startup Professionals Musings

In this era of rapid market and technological change, I know I have to challenge my small business advisory clients to keep innovating and stay ahead of the game.

8 Steps To Starting A New Venture With Limited Funds

Startup Professionals Musings

Now is the time to be an entrepreneur and create a business from your passion.

7 Growth Choices That Can Make or Break Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of you new venture founders I meet as an angel investor seem convinced that starting the business is the hardest part. You look forward to the day when your business becomes self-sustaining, and settles into a long-term growth curve, ensuring financial success.

8 Smart Tips To Soliciting Friends And Family Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s great to start with a big dream as you contemplate a new business, but finding the money you need takes more than dreaming. As an advisor to young entrepreneurs, I find that many are a bit naïve about how the investment process really works.

7 Reasons To Turn The Enemy Into A Strategic Partner

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs seem to have blinders on when looking at competitors. Generally they are so focused on killing competitors that they fail to see the positive potential of a strategic partnership or some other type of collaborative relationship.

7 Excuses For Giving Up Instead Of Persevering To Win

Startup Professionals Musings

When I heard a friend and business mentor say, “Your startup won’t fail if you don’t quit,” I realized that every entrepreneur should adopt “never give up” as their mantra. Rather than quitting, there are always alternatives, like pivoting the business model or merging with new partners for support.

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.

7 Ways To Demonstrate Leadership In A Business Crisis

Startup Professionals Musings

When the business is struggling, most business owners I know feel like anything but a leader. They start second-guessing their own vision, and are prone to making snap decisions suggested by someone else, in lieu of their carefully crafted processes and metrics.

7 Lead-Generation Tactics Thrive On Limited Budgets

Startup Professionals Musings

Contrary to popular opinion, viral marketing has not eliminated the need for old-fashioned lead generation to bring customers to a startup.

How Some Ventures Continually Stay Ahead Of The Crowd

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business advisor, I have long been surprised by the large number of industry stalwarts, including Blockbuster, Kodak, and General Motors, that have been dealt major setbacks, or even total failure, by upstart young companies, with a fraction of the resources or industry experience.

10 Reasons To Market Yourself More Than A Great Idea

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many entrepreneurs I know still believe that that their great idea will carry the startup, and they may even minimize their own value, especially if they have introvert tendencies. Yet most investors agree that the “idea” is worth nothing alone, and it’s the entrepreneur execution that counts.

Why Pitching Your Product Is Not Enough For Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

As an occasional angel investor, I always ask for a business pitch to get me in the mood. I’m still amazed at how many technical entrepreneurs don’t have a business pitch, and offer me their product pitch or product spec instead.

8 Challenges When Scaling Your New Venture Worldwide

Startup Professionals Musings

Market opportunities for your new venture are now immediately worldwide, thanks to the pervasive access to the Internet and social media communication.

6 Steps to High Performance - Start Your Own Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the people I know in business are just plodding along, working hard, and hoping that their natural talent, with a little random luck, will somehow keep them ahead of the crowd, and let them enjoy their life as well.

6 Guidelines For Proper Responses To Investor Queries

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs looking for investor funding often fail to realize that all money comes with strings. For example, if you have watched the Shark Tank TV series, you probably noticed that the Sharks always ask the entrepreneurs for their intended “use of funds.”

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10 Keys To Delivering Innovation As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup investor in this age of the entrepreneur, I see many more startups, but innovation is still hard to find. The most common proposals I hear are for yet another social networking site ( over 200 exist ), or another dating site (over 2500 in the US alone).

7 Keys To Making People First And Winning In Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Just as national cultures influence and shape a country, so does the startup culture set by founder strategy drive the future of a new venture.

7 Employee Practices That Will Make You A ‘Superboss’

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business executive and entrepreneur I know believes they are good or even great leaders, but as an advisor I often hear a different story from their team.

8 Ways To Ensure That Your Website Is Winning For You

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s hard to be successful in any business when your customers can’t find you, or they find you and still can’t figure out whether your solution works for them. Thus I was surprised to see in a recent CNBC survey that 45 percent of small businesses still don’t have a website.

7 Reasons To Reconsider A Planned IPO Exit Strategy

Startup Professionals Musings

Despite the fact that the number of IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) for startups have continued to stay low, I still hear it touted often as the preferred exit strategy.

8 Ways To Instill A Sense Of Purpose In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting a new venture and thriving in today’s economy is hard, but the best have figured out that customers and employees need to feel that you have a sense of purpose, to complement the company’s pursuit of profit. A higher purpose motivates people in a way that financial wins alone never will.

7 Steps To Finding Investors Aligned With Your Values

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most common complaints I hear from new business owners and startups is about the pain and difficulty raising capital. The “venture capital” model is the only option they know, where they feel they get no mercy, giving up equity and control.

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7 Ways To Counter The “I’m Too Busy” Syndrome At Work

Startup Professionals Musings

I’m sure you know a few people at work who are always “too busy,” but never seem to get much done. For many of these, it’s an excuse to decline new work, impress others, or gain sympathy. For others, it’s a legitimate complaint, indicative of being out of control or not managing their time.

7 Reasons To Not Give Up Too Soon On Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the young entrepreneurs I know are classic proof of the old adage that people tend to overestimate what they can do in a short period, and underestimate what they can do over a long period.