Startup Professionals Musings

10 Entrepreneur Attributes That Will Make You A Star

Startup Professionals Musings

Elon Musk via Flickr by TED Conference To be successful as an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be a fabulous person, but it helps. Some people, and some entrepreneurs, have that something extra that you can’t quite put your finger on, like Ryan Seacrest is searching for on American Idol.

6 Marketing Tips To Attract Customers To Your Rollout

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by jardenberg 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.

7 Keys To Using Social Media to Kickstart Your Brand

Startup Professionals Musings

5 Exciting Technologies That Need Your Execution Help

Startup Professionals Musings

DNA image via Wikipedia As a business advisor and technologist, I often think about the large array of opportunities for entrepreneurs as technology seems to be evolving faster and faster.

5 Startup Cost Realities Most Founders Underestimate

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by Phil Gyford Starting a new venture still costs real money, even though the entry price has come down dramatically in last few decades.

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Why It Pays To Focus Your Business On A Narrow Niche

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Picpedia 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.

“Nail It Then Scale It” - The New Mantra For Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

Steve Blank via Flickr by jdlasica 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.

5 Key Drivers For Creating A Board For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

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

7 Problem Solving Mistakes To Avoid In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by Fortune Conferences In every business, especially new ones, quick and effective problem solving is a critical skill.

8 Keys To Introducing Truly Life-Changing Innovations

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by UC Davis 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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8 Advantages of Leader Focus on People Versus Process

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pexels Every business needs repeatable processes to grow and thrive, but modern business processes need the right people to make them efficient and productive.

5 Steps To A Winning Assault On The Army Of Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by lumaxart Don’t charge the hill until you are “ready.” This probably seems obvious to military types, but I see entrepreneurs violating this rule all the time.

6 Tips to Boost Workforce Engagement and Motivation

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Wikipedia The challenge for all of us in business is to improve competitiveness by improving employee productivity and reducing costs.

6 Settings When Ready-Aim-Fire May Doom Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by Shawn Wolfe 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.

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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How To Be A Leader When Machines Are Smarter Than You

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay The majority of business professionals I meet these days accept that we are now deep in the digital age, where mountains of data are gathered on everything we do, online and offline.

7 Strategies For Brand Leadership Through Influencers

Startup Professionals Musings

Jeff Bezos via Flickr by jdlasica These days, the influencers at the top of your business make your brand, rather than a brand making influencers of your leaders. Consider Jeff Bezos at the top of Amazon, or Howard Schultz at the top of Starbucks. They were influencers before they were a brand.

10 Wins From Driving Multiple Concurrent New Ventures

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by watsonsinelgin With the cost of entry at an all-time low, and the odds of success equally low, more and more entrepreneurs are starting multiple companies concurrently.

8 Steps For Developing Employees To Generate Loyalty

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by University of the Fraser 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 To Prepare Your Company For The Future Of Work

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay It’s time to take the drudgery and dread out of work at your business. You don’t like it, millennials won’t put up with it, and current productivity levels at work continue to decline. Only 32 percent of American workers are even engaged at work today.

The Average Startup Overnight Success Takes Six Years

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup founder knows implicitly that startup success is a long hard road. Yet we always dream that we are the exception to the rule. So once in a while it’s good to look at some facts to temper our imagination.

6 Reasons To Overcome Your Fear of Talking Publicly

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Wikipedia As a mentor for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs, I talk to a fair number who may have a great vision and a strong engineering background, but have a negative interest in the role of public speaking in business.

10 Thinking Methods That Foster Business Innovation

Startup Professionals Musings

Innovation is the key to long-term business success, both in startups as well as established organizations. Yet every business and every entrepreneur I know struggles with this challenge, focused on hiring the right people and implementing the right process.

10 Key Principles To Drive Customer Decisions Today

Startup Professionals Musings

Today’s customers are overloaded and overwhelmed by too much information, so making a decision is a challenge.

5 Keys To Starting A New Venture In Your Local Town

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Wikipedia From the advice I hear these days, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, or one of the few other financial hubs around the world.

7 Steps To A Winning Social Media Marketing Campaign

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay Most startups, and many big businesses, still don’t have a clue on how to use social media productively for marketing their business.

8 Key Disciplines Are Essential To Scale Any Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay As a mentor to many small business owners, I always caution them that you can never relax completely, just because your initial solution or product set appears to be getting traction, and the market buzz is positive.

8 Ways Blogging Can Supercharge Your Business Website

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay Now that the number of websites on the Internet worldwide approaches two billion, how do you expect anyone to find yours?

9 Strategies For Maximizing Your Social Media Impact

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are an entrepreneur these days, or trying to grow an existing business, everyone is telling you that you need to use social media. There are many ‘experts’ out there telling you how to do it, or even offering their services.

8 All Too Painful Entrepreneur Negotiation Mistakes

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay One of the things I have learned the hard way over my years in business, and in advising others, is that it takes more than passion, creativity, and hard work to start and grow a business.

5 Keys To Happiness, Even For New Business Founders

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay Building a startup is hard work for low pay, it’s risky, and it requires total responsibility to make it work. Yet, many entrepreneurs are the happiest people I know.

6 Actions To Find The Perfect Angel For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Max Pixel 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.”

5 Alternatives To Shutting Down A Struggling Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are just plain tired of working so hard, or your startup is not getting the traction you expected, should you shut down cleanly, or just file for bankruptcy and walk away? For those who think that bankruptcy is the easy way out, think again.

Viral Marketing And Word-of-Mouth Require Investment

Startup Professionals Musings

Every time I challenge a business plan with little or no budget for marketing, I get the answer that they will be using “viral” marketing, which costs nothing.

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Baby Boomers May Be Your Biggest Startup Competitors

Startup Professionals Musings

Contrary to what you might guess, the highest rate of entrepreneurial growth over the last few years is not Gen-Y upstarts, but Boomers over the age of 50, now called encore entrepreneurs.

Artificial Intelligence Can Help Or Hurt Any Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay Everyone has heard about the big potential for using artificial intelligence (AI) to expand your business, but many of the small businesses I mentor are still wary of embracing it, because they don’t understand how it works, and fear losing control and unintended consequences.

10 Business Plan Tips Too Many Entrepreneurs Forget

Startup Professionals Musings

If you want people to invest in your idea, then my best advice is first write a business plan, and keep it simple. Don't confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or the back of a napkin. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short.

How To Take Your Business Idea From Dream To Reality

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Pixabay In my role as a new business advisor and occasional investor, I hear lots of people talking about their dreams of “someday” starting and running a new venture.

How To Practice As Well As Preach Being Accountable

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by Cabinet Office It’s easy to say to people on your team that they must be accountable for their actions, but it’s not so easy to tell them how to do it. It’s even harder to give them the mindset of wanting to be accountable.

Reasons Not To Make Decisions Today On Gut Instincts

Startup Professionals Musings

I still know some entrepreneurs who boast of simply following their gut instincts, rather than listen to anyone or any data, to make strategic decisions. We’ve all worked with autocratic leaders in large companies who seem to thrive in this mode.

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7 Action Items Build A Sustainable Innovation Culture

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business founder knows the need for a culture that promotes continuous innovation, an entrepreneurial spirit, and one that creates sustainable value across all functions in the business. Yet most don’t really know how to create that environment, or assess when they have achieved it.

8 Positive Lessons From Facebook On Building Momentum

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by stockcatalog Many new business owners I know have learned the hard way that you can never be everything for everyone. As a startup, you need to use your limited resources to excel at a few core things for your best customers, in order to stand out and get the momentum going.

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6 Keys To The Best Social Media Platform For Business

Startup Professionals Musings

An all-too-common question I get from startups and small businesses is “Which is the right social media platform for my business?” Is it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or one of the other 200 active platforms vying for attention these days?