Posts Tagged ‘Successful startups’
Ask any successful entrepreneur or business owner to sum up the keys to their success and communication will more than likely be one of them.
Startup businesses recognise that neither a good nor an exceptional product or new idea alone is enough to succeed.
So, then, what are the two factors that every successful startup needs? And does your startup have them? Find out…
Here is a puzzle – how do you pay a startup team before you have any money?
We have found that 3 key dimensions need to be resolved to enable to you develop a strong and motivated startup team.
Many (but not all) entrepreneurs feel that selling is scary, horrible and not nice!
However, this view is typically based on a misunderstanding of what selling is really about.
Yes, there are hard sales people who will flog you anything they can (actually, anything that generates a large commission) but these people tend to burn out – as do their businesses.
Instead, non-pushy people can become great sales people simply by thinking about sales in a different way. Here’s how…
What do you call an entrepreneur with a great idea but no sales?
A dreamer? An inventor? Someone who never makes it?
So then, how do you become a successful entrepreneur?
The IMF has provided entrepreneurs with a wonderful example of how to get it wrong.
But what can we – the successful entrepreneurs – learn from the IMFs failures?
The new year is with us – and so this is a great time to ask – what have you pruned or cut in 2011?
Hmm… yes, this might seem strange to ask about cutting at the beginning of a new year – but shouldn’t we be looking to expand and grow, you might ask?
Well yes, but, before you can grow, you have to cut out the deadwood or the slow growth businesses, products and services in order to focus on new opportunities or expanding those things that really are working.
What kind of business will be successful coming out of this recession?
And, how do we build it?
That is the big question for every entrepreneur who is either starting up now – or already on the journey.
So, what will happen… and what do we do about it?
Oops! Did I mean FIRED?
As Lord Sugar’s new edition of the Apprentice gets under way this week, we have to ask ourselves why do all these thrusting young entrepreneurs want a job?
Research shows that freelancers can solve many of the challenges faced by businesses, agencies or departments that are looking to innovate and grow.
Instead of just being a way to save costs, freelancers are discovering that they bring original ideas and solutions to their clients.
But does it work? Can freelancers help avoid failure and stimulate innovation?
JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, talks about how failure in career, marriage and financially, led her to focus on the one area in which she was truly equipped to succeed.
She says that had she not experienced the failure, she might never have gone on to write one the worlds’s most popular series of books.
Hurrah! There has been a shift in business thinking!
Stock investors have rediscovered Warren Buffett’s investment principle of ‘never lose money’ and entrepreneurs are now focused on how to avoid small business failure, rather than searching for growth at all costs.
We need to learn how to avoid small business failure and so that your business has time and space to innovate.
Why do you have a webiste?
Is it because everyone else has one, so you thought you should have one too?
Anecdotal research tells us that 80% of websites don’t have a clearly defined purpose. So, if you’ve made the classic mistake of building a website and are now wondering what to do with it, or even, whether it works, then read on…
Do you know how much a digital visitor costs?
Well, if you are working for the UK Government, you will now know how much a single visitor to your website costs – and it can vary by a factor of 48,900%.
Digital business (previously called internet businesses) are still all the rage and therefore the majority of new start-up business plans are digital businesses.
But we keep seeing the same mistakes. So here are 3 errors that we keep seeing – and you should avoid…
Recruitment freezes have spread from the private sector to the public sector across Europe and the US – they are now everywhere!
So, when one of your team leave, you are left short handed and without key skills, how do keep growing your business, make more sales and deliver better returns with less budget and a smaller team?
What shall we call this period – between the first recession and whatever is to come in the form of substantial public sector cuts and reductions in government spending?
Shall we call them the treacle years? The years of trudging along with heavy boots – just about keeping the forward momentum of your business but demanding constant and focused effort?
I recently got sent a link to the report that Ernst & Young launched at Davos earlier this year and it has some important lessons and advice for successful entrepreneurs – you’ve got to become agile.
So, how do you do that? Let’s find out…
How do we grow our businesses in 2010?
We have less cash than before, and borrowing is either impossible or way too expensive.
We’ve made cuts already to our business and so have a smaller team and less staff than before.
We know government cuts to public spending are coming and will impact on at least some of our customers if not our businesses directly.
So what do we do?
The riots on Greek streets and the IMF inspired bailout tell us that a major fiscal storm is coming to the UK very soon – unless deep cuts are made to public spending.
And, for businesses to be prepared to handle that impact, we need to plan and implement right now.
Guys – it is time to ditch the old ‘build a business and sell it for zillions’ goal!
Just as easy credit has passed into history so too have the dreams of becoming instant dot.com millionaires as a result of a few lucky breaks and some unknown buyer waving cheque books.
As most successful entrepreneurs know, it doesn’t really happen like that – unless you are incredibly lucky.
But, it is a common battle cry from entrepreneurs that they want to sell their business for £5m in 3 years time – or some similar sort of goal.
The credit crunch is hardly over, but at least we can now focus on how to grow our way out of the problems we are in – rather than worrying if everything was going to collapse.
So, in this new credit chastened environment, how do you, the successful entrepreneur, grow your business in 2010?
To help, here at Rags to Wreckages, we’ve put together a 7 point plan on how to move ahead and start to grow again this year.
Successful entrepreneurs are constantly asking three key questions –
- ‘what isn’t working’
- ‘why isn’t it working’ and
- ‘can I do anything about it’?
These three questions are the most important questions in the entrepreneurs vocabluary and a lifetime can be spent on developing the skills and abilities to answer those as successfully as possible.
On the face of it, the UK Chancellor’s budget speech on Wednesday offered a reasonable boost to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The budget, the last before the general election, has therefore been largely welcomed by the business community although some claim it still does not go far enough in its support for entrepreneurial and fast-growing businesses.
Luke Johnson, a successful entrepreneur, wrote in the FT last week that it is important to fire your existing management team if you want your business to discover reinvention. He says that gradual revolution is not enough and that when systems are broken small steps won’t work.
Whole swathes of businesses no longer work the way they used to. Book publishing and local newspapers are at the top of the list, but other business such as estate agencies, state education, financial services are all looking for new ways to do things.
We are not looking at a gradual revolution here – we are looking at business models that no longer work.
Warren Buffett, still one of the world’s most successful investors, is good at owning up to mistakes.
He has declared on many occasions that holding onto his textile company in the 1970s was an error and that he accepts full responsibility for not listening to the advice telling him to exit the business.
Even in his latest letter to shareholders he warns that “we will make plenty of mistakes”.
Which is the better business Google or Yahoo?
Well, you probably are going to choose Google – and you’d be right.
But do you know why they are a better business? Again, you might say better products etc… and again, I’m sure you’d be right.
But how would you measure the difference?
Tom Farmer, the entrepreneur who made his money with Quick Fit, a tyres and exhausts retailer and fitter, says that the bigger you are – the dumber you are.
In Mr Farmer’s view ‘the reason governments are dumb is because they are so big’.
So size is a real problem for both businesses and institutions.
Therefore, Tom Farmer is an advocate of the low employee business, which grows by outsourcing all the other services.
Do great entrepreneurs never give up?
Is a top entrepreneur like a dog with a bone, and just won’t let go?
True or false?
Well, true but only to a point. A smart entrepreneur will “try, try and try again – and then give up. No point in being a damn fool about it”. (WC Fields).
Is this the best single business idea that you will ever come across? We reckon it is pretty much up there with the best.
One working prototype and one paying, happy customer ==> testimonial + request for second product from second customer. The two happy customers and testimonials then create a third customer and so forth.
What makes an entrepreneur different from a small business man or woman? Well, the best definition of what entrepreneurs do is provided by Peter Drucker. He said
Entrepreneurs innovate. Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. It is the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.
Okay, so what does that mean?
Even The Economist´s Schumpeter column is reporting and marginally supporting the idea of freelancing, especially for interim CEOs who are normally very expensive to get rid of (and most of whom don’t work out). The article points out that the hiring process for CEOs is ‘hopelessly inefficient’ yet ends with the old adage that The most [...]
I’ve been asked to advise Liverpool John Moores University entrepreneur students on getting finance for their new businesses. Controversially, my view on finance for young entrepreneurs would be, don’t. Here’s what I would recommend: a) avoid finance if at all possible and always for as long as possible – learn to beg, borrow and barter b) focus [...]
“The glue that holds the company together is trust” said Dr James Bellini, a forecaster of employment trends, and therefore not employment.
This statement stands in direct conflict with some of the comments expressed in response to my article ‘Entrepreneurs – never employ anyone’.