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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

One Reason You Shouldn’t Worry About Getting Venture Capital

August 11, 2015 Comments off

Dileep Rao posted an interesting article entitled: Why 99.95% Of Entrepreneurs Should Stop Wasting Time Seeking Venture Capital. It was posted in Forbes Entrepreneur Blog.

Venture-Capital

It is an interesting analysis stating that odds are likely you will grow your business without Venture Capital.  It simply reinforces the notion that working on your business to build and please customers might do you better than chasing the odds of gaining traction with a VC, at least in the early stages of your company.  Still, the VC community, as Rao contends, is a formidable PR machine and the populace (i.e. press) seems to look their direction for validation and guidance.  Is this the right place to look?  If it is not, where should entrepreneurs (and policy makers) seek a “gold standard” to pursue?

3 Reasons to Write it Down Before Action

March 18, 2013 Comments off

pencilLast week was full of surprises.  Teams converged to address a very sticky, emotional and difficult issue.  No surprise, it also involved money, faulty decisions and blame all around. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Due to the complexity of the issues involved, I decided to try to create a factual summary of the past and what led up to the present situation. I presented the timeline to all parties to help us all recast the sequence of events. By trying to remove emotion and script only facts along a timeline, we realized, like a lot of difficult decisions, many people and situations conspired consciously or unconsciously to bring us to where we were.  Reducing the facts to a timeline and having everyone agree on what happened quickly allowed us to move forward with the present challenge.  So, write it down, use the facts and you can gain:

1. Clarity

2. Perspective and

3. Build a reasonable plan going forward

The exercise allowed me to also see there was error with “my team” and “their team” – and once we took responsibility, it opened the door to collectively take responsibility and work together on solving what got us there.  We focused on the problem, not the people.  Try it sometime.

Business Plan or Not? – Definately a Plan

December 7, 2012 Comments off
English: Business Plan Presentation at FSG 2009

English: Business Plan Presentation at FSG 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Accelerators section of the Wall Street Journal proposed the question:  Do new businesses or new business segments need a business plan?  The experts weighed in on both sides of the argument.  Many simply said no:  Too tedious, no one reads it, and the business ends up going in a different direction, anyway.  I get that, but if you read into the content of their arguments against a classic business plan, they also state they get some sort of proposal/presentation when they evaluate opportunities.  So, perhaps the details have changed, but the concept remains the same.  In order to be prepared, you need to plan.  If you don’t know your market size, your customer needs and some sort of idea of what they are willing to pay, your business model and some idea of your operating infrastructure, no inside or external investor will be impressed enough to put money in your concept.

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Three Steps to Know you are Pointed Toward a Successful Initiative

November 12, 2012 Comments off
Steps

Steps (Photo credit: susanvg)

In the last post, I spoke about Passionate Certainty, how do you know your passion and direction align.  Further, how do you take steps to develop an initiative personally or professionally?  To select an initiative, it takes thought and planning to ensure you are pointing your team in the right direction.  There are many layers below these steps, but they are, by nature simple.

  1. Assess – review as much information as possible.  In the start-up world its called market validation.  Who’s in the business, why, is this idea/initiative solving a real problem that people are willing to pay money for?  Does this initiative align with your company’s vision/mission (or your own?).  If you moved forward, what would you consider to be a success metric(s)?
  2. Analyze – drill your assessment into measurable metrics.  It could be features/benefits of the product, customer or expert reviews, or other quantitative or qualitative measures. The important part is to go through the exercise.  Write it up and report it to your team or a reliable peer or expert.  See if it makes sense when you say it out loud and you truly have an initiative that creates value in the mind of your audience.
  3. Act – Go out into the market.  See other products/services in action.  Talk to experts, ask questions.  If you have a demonstration item to present, have them look at it.  If not see if you can assess what your initiative can do to improve productivity or profits.  Do it on a small scale, measure it and determine if you can scale it.

One you “act” make sure it is on a very small scale, measure your success and go back to #1 before you decide to scale the idea.  Did it achieve your objectives, profitably (in your personal world, did it satisfy you and align with your beliefs system?).  If so, we are ready to move to Diligent Pursuit.  If not, a failure at this level is a success. Few resources were spent, and either a pivot strategy was developed, or you agreed to abandon the initiative in pursuit of a more attractive opportunity.

In completing a business development strategy, following these steps ensured our message aligned with our customers.  We assessed the market and its perceptions, analyzed our target customers and acted through interviews to ensure we it our target.  It works with concepts like marketing and products that serve customer needs.

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Certainty in an Uncertain World

October 19, 2012 Comments off
Trust

Trust (Photo credit: m-c)

In building my business case for Passionate Certainty, I ran across a 1 1/2 minute video of Daniel Burris on how do you create certainty in business and with your life.  It came down to relationships and trust.  Interesting.

My thesis on developing passionate certainty is understanding your passion and creating certainty around your future, both as a business, in business and in life.  But what is life without a relationship and what is a relationship without trust?

I believe long term relationships are built on trust and it works in business and in your personal life and those that build it, profit in the long-term.  Are you developing a trustworthy image to your market?

Here’s the video.

Speaking of trust, while we think about the long-term, think about Nike’s statement when dropping Lance Armstrong.

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Passionate Certainty – Do you Live it?

October 8, 2012 Comments off

Two weeks ago I posted on “coming alive” – stating that finding your passion and living it is one of the key ingredients needed for you, and really, for yourself and everyone around you.  Related to this is one of my critical beliefs.  Passionate certainty – the belief you can achieve your dream by putting it into action.

In a business environment, we voluntarily submit ourselves to work and a career over many years and hours. Actually, more than we will spend with our families or with ourselves. So, part of this decision is to ensure you are passionate about what you are doing (do you know?) and with that passion, are you certain of your success in that role. With entrepreneurial companies, it is key you have both.

Three critical beliefs of pursuit are the subject of the next few posts.  I hope they help stimulate thought for a productive future!  By the way, after writing this, I found a great article similar to my thought process attached.

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds (Photo credit: epSos.de)

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It’s Not About Perfect, It’s About Progress

September 12, 2012 Comments off

I just returned from one of my most enjoyable roles with the PIPELINE Entrepreneurs organization (By the way, they are accepting applications for a new class – see pipelineentrepreneurs.com).  I work with these high growth business owners to help them communicate their business concept – in plain English – and set and achieve milestones for their business. I encourage them to set goals for their team and themselves that make meaningful progress toward their success.

It seems we sometimes reach a conundrum when we work toward these objectives.  Either we are paralyzed by the size of the task in front of us – and therefore can’t break a big goal into small tasks, OR we get overly focused on the details of the goal – attempting to make it a perfect measurable task to move you closer to your objective.  In either case, I am a proponent of simple progress.  Figure out a way to move in the general direction of your objective and refine your goals along the way.  You just don’t know, unless you get started.  Indeed, it is about progress, not perfect.  Let’s get moving!

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