In this episode, Michael Dermer speaks to Garnett Strother, an elite personal trainer born and raised (and still) in the Lower East Side. Featured by […]
The evolution of a business with an untested concept is complex. It is diﬃcult for constituents to digest information in a way that keeps people aligned to the vision and motivated to plow through the challenges. In the face of a lot of work, competition and the promise to deliver something "new" to the market, it is essential to keep everyone aligned to the end game.
You’re an entrepreneur with a big idea and you’re poised to disrupt your target industry. Intellectual property is key to your success. To get your company moving, you might have to bring in others such as co-founders, employees, consultants, advisors, developers and creative talent. This creates potential issues with intellectual property. Be sure that all they are bound by a written agreement stating that all intellectual property created in connection with the services performed for the startup is assigned to the company. Absent a written agreement, the individual or entity providing the services will generally have ownership rights in such intellectual property, which will cause problems for the startup when it is looking to raise capital or be acquired. You have to set yourself up for the future by making sure that all of the intellectual property developed along the journey belongs to the company.
Your problems are not unique. The first time someone told me this I thought they were insane, but it’s true! Every startup shares the same problems. First and foremost, we all suffer from the issues endemic to new and developing businesses- lack of capital, lack of qualified team members and lack of time to execute across all parts of the company. You are faced with creating the building blocks of a business, building a business model, gaining market acceptance, creating operational capacity and to build the functional areas of a company- sales, marketing, finance, operations, technology, human resources, and the list goes on. This is true whether you are opening a pizza store, launching a clothing line, building an online store or selling jewelry. The same problems exist in virtually every newly launched venture.
As entrepreneurs, sometimes the battle becomes a badge of honor. While having the “nothing can stop me” attitude is helpful, it also often causes us to turn a blind eye to what the experience is doing to our body and our mind. Entrepreneurs will say, “Who has time to relax? The only people who can afford to go to yoga at 6pm are peoples who have never been entrepreneurs.”
If you’re thinking ahead to the day when you’ll no longer run your business, think about these five exit strategies now so you’ll be prepared for your future. Entrepreneurs live for the struggle of launching their business. But one thing they often forget is that decisions made on day one can have huge implications down the road. You see, it’s not enough to build a business worth a fortune; you have to make sure you have an exit strategy, a way to get the money back out. Here are five primary exit strategies for those of you who like to plan ahead and for those of you who don’t, but should.
Failure to understand your cash position, as well as your current and future cash needs, will result in disaster. The sad truth is that cash-flow surprises kill many startups. According to Dunn & Bradstreet, 90 percent of small-business failures are caused by poor cash flow. To prevent becoming part of that 90percent, you’ll need to maintain a focus on cash. When it comes to the financial management of a growing company, always remember that cash is KING.
Most entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that every consumer or business is a potential customer. As a result, when looking for new customers (prospecting) entrepreneurs tends to spread their energy around without focusing on unique customers or how to find them. The sales process depends on creating a “pipeline” of opportunities, meaning that for every ten potential customers you add to the pipeline, you can assume that only one or two of them will become paying customers. Prospecting, or building the pipeline is essential to sales and must be a top priority.
Crowdfunding websites, or platforms, allows individuals and business owners to raise funds for any kind of project by accessing a large number of potential backers. Many people are compelled to use well-known crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe. While these sites may have a loyal base of backers, the competition for views is fierce. Those seeking support should consider the differences between platforms so they can choose the site that will connect them with interested backers that will provide a strong level of support.