Every entrepreneur tries to maximize his startup growth by building and selling more product and services for the widest geographic area that he or she can support. This strategy is called “organic growth,” yet it alone may yield only a fraction of the potential you could achieve, unless you add the additional strategies of partnerships […]
Backable,” by Suneel Gupta with Carlye Adler, solidifies my belief that anyone can learn to be perceived as more credible and persuasive, and it’s a skill that every entrepreneur and business professional needs to master. Here are seven key steps which both Gupta and I agree are necessary for success.
Many startups fail before reaching that magic “cash-flow positive” position they have been striving for, despite seemingly reasonable financial projections. A closer analysis often indicates the cause to be a lack of diligence in handling common business finances. These mistakes are usually masked by excuses, like the economy turned on me, or my competitors played dirty.
For many, it’s hard to make the switch from that top-down order-giving culture, and it’s hard to find the time to recruit and coach the new team members you need to scale the business to success. Many new businesses fail at this stage because they don’t build the required team culture to keep teams engaged and committed, and founders burn out trying to do too much.
Every smart entrepreneur needs to realize that trying to treat every customer the same, with limited resources, may mean that you are treating them all poorly, or at least limiting your own growth.
Entrepreneurs tend to continually narrow the scope of potential competitors, and often claim to have no direct competitors. This raises a big red flag with potential investors, who conclude that no competitors means no market, or you haven’t looked, and the new startup is likely not investable.
I believe that most entrepreneurs today, at least in the technology domains I frequent, still work in the business (“Technician’s Perspective”), rather than on the business (“Entrepreneurs Perspective”).
I’m always surprised by how many entrepreneurs are looking for funding without outside advisors. An experienced Board can give them credibility, as well as advice on the many pitfalls of starting a new company. Especially if you are a first-time business owner, the payback for this initiative is well worth the effort and cost.
For the startups and entrepreneurs who manage to attract investment and survive term sheet negotiation, there is still one more hurdle before the money is in the bank. This is the mysterious and dreaded due diligence process, which can kill the whole deal. In reality, it is nothing more than a final integrity check on all aspects of the business and the team.
Every entrepreneur needs to understand the following basics, to be addressed at company formation, as they engage a qualified attorney to draw up the paperwork.