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Helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into a business

Keeping The End In Sight


   

Marketing Tool or Distraction

 

To paraphrase Stephen Covey, keeping the end in sight, or in the case of an entrepreneur the goal in sight, is vital to a businesses success.

 

 

 

An important tool to help an entrepreneur ‘keep the end in sight’ is to use their pro-formas as a rudder. Much like a ship being thrashed about by unruly waves, which can throw a vessel off course, so too can every day distractions. Social media, although an important tool in any entrepreneur’s tool box, can also serve as a distraction that slowly eats away at an entrepreneur’s time.

The article linked below does a superb job of outlining the steps an entrepreneur can take to use social media while still keeping the goal in view. 

“Staying focused on the measures of success which have the highest impact on sales and profits is a daily battle. Working harder, going faster, writing more, socializing more, and Facebooking more might actually become a dead-end. Social media allows a person to feed their own ego and gives them a sense of control.”

http://tinyurl.com/6g7lyot

February 3, 2011 Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , , , | 7 Comments

Entrepreneurs and Passion


Entrepreneur Passion

 

Passion is a word that is frequently overused and has lost its meaning between the daily chatter of the media, friends, mentors and coaches. But what does it really mean. When you hear a word tossed into the verbal arena off handedly it starts to lose its luster. 

The dictionary states passion is a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. 

Certainly I believe everyone should be passionate about something in their life.  However, if you are considering entrepreneurship, and I hope you are, passion has to be the foundation of which you begin building your business

Why is passion necessary? Although rewards are many when you are an entrepreneur so are the challenges. It is easy to be passionate about something easy and fun, but more challenging when something is difficult and full of drudgery. 

As an example, I am in the midst of starting an online business for entrepreneurs. This endeavor has been fraught with one challenge after another. But I am passionate about entrepreneurs. When working with entrepreneurs it isn’t work but a joy. If I wasn’t passionate about entrepreneurs the challenges facing my start-up would have been too much.  But they haven’t been too much because my passion for helping entrepreneurs helped me meet and overcome the challenges. 

If you are passionate about what you do and put some blinders on to the ‘distractions’ that will surround you then the chances of you achieving your dreams increase exponentially. 

To recap: 

  1. Find your passion.
  2. Put blinders on and try to ignore the ‘noise’ that will surround you.
  3. Keep the goal line in front of you.
  4. Always move forward.
  5. Find ways to succeed not ways to fail.

  

Here is to challenges, because if you don’t let them defeat you then I believe you have found your PASSION. 

Comment back and tell me how your Passion as it relates to business. How do you know? What have you overcome that confirmed you are passionate? I would love to hear your stories.

September 25, 2010 Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How Do I Find Investors?


How to find investors 

If you are not able to go it alone or do not have family, or friends to help then finding investors could be at the top of your list. Often when I am asked this question I am looking at an entrepreneur with the  “deer in the headlights”  look.  It is perfectly understandable. The thought of finding investors and asking for money can be a scary thought.

First and foremost as an entrepreneur you must change your way of thinking.  If you have done your homework and researched your product or service you should have confidence in your plan. You must believe in yourself and your enterprise because as the saying goes, “If you don‟t believe in yourself no one will.”  Investors are smart, savvy people who can smell self-doubt or fear a mile away.  So before you approach anyone to convince them of your idea you must convince yourself first.

I could devote a whole book to this topic, but now let give you three or four places to start.

1.  Look into the local Angel Funding groups in town. Try doing a search on the internet for some Angel groups near you. Tell your story to your friends and family. If they are not interested then ask them if they know of anyone who may be interested.  You probably will get two or three more names from them.  Ask for an introduction or if you can use their name. You then need to contact them and ask to meet them for lunch. If they are not interested ask for two or three names of people they think that might be interested and ask for an introduction. Do you see what is happening? I call this the “Spider Web Effect”. You will need to talk to a lot of people to find investors. You find them by making a “Spider Web‟.

2.  If that does not work call a local business incubator Director and he should have contact information for the local Angel Investor Groups. Your local Chamber of Commerce will have that information as well.

3.  I have put financial institutions last because with the current economy (written in 2010) they have shown reluctance to loan money to small businesses. They will also more than likely require collateral for any loan they provide. If you are fine with that then try for a business loan from your local financial institutions. 

These are just a few of the top places to start. It is hard work and not easy to find investors. One other word of advice …develop thick skin. This process is not for the faint of heart.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Entrepreneur Board of Advisors – Yes or No?


The question you should pose is not whether you should have a board of advisors but who should be on the board of advisors. Small business owners fail for a variety of reasons. Not knowing your competencies and poor planning are two of those reasons. Small business owners have a passion and a drive for their products or services, but may lack the skills in a critical area of success such as marketing, financial planning or networking. It is crucial for any business owner to surround their business with a diverse group of advisors. Some small business owners are wary of trade secrets escaping for the benefit of some other person or company. It is vital that the selected advisors are trusted business partners that are thoroughly vetted. The function of the group of advisors is to act as a strong sounding board, pointing you in the right direction and allowing you to focus on your core competencies while making you plan for the future success of your business.     

Business Advisors

Advisors

 

Your group of advisors does need to be a formal board of advisors. There are benefits to formalizing a board such as fiduciary duties to the small business and structured efficient meetings. Drawbacks to formalizing include a lessened ability to change directions when the market dictates the need for a change and advisory pay considerations. Formalizing the board of advisors has to be an individual choice and has to fit the attitude and the environment of your small business.    

One last point needs to be made.  Don’t choose people because they are or have been CEO’s of Fortune 500 or 100 companies.  Unless they grew that business from its inception they are probably as knowledgeable as you on how to run a start-up.  Find successful entrepreneurs to put on your board. Use the CEO’s, if you must, as funding sources but don’t rely on them for sound advice on running your business.  

Three Additional Points

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , , , , | Leave a comment