Tuesday, March 7, 2017

8 Ways to Prepare for the Many Startup Obstacles Ahead



Too many entrepreneurs tackle starting a business as a random walk into a business minefield, and they count on their street smarts, thick skin and pure determination to get them to their destinations alive. That does work once in a while, usually with some serious collateral damage, but a less painful approach is to prepare and plan for each step along the way.

One preparation example is the value of building a business plan before you start. A popular startup myth claims you don’t need one, since investors never read them. The reality is that if you are only doing a business plan for investors, you are already in trouble. You need the business plan for yourself, to force you to draw a detailed roadmap through the obstacles ahead, and be able to measure your progress along the way.
In my perspective as an advisor and mentor to many entrepreneurs, there are a set of basic strategies that can be applied to every startup to dramatically improve the odds of success, no matter what the business domain. These include the following:

Monday, March 6, 2017

5 Ways to Prepare for Disaster in a Startup



Startups are volatile. Prone to unexpected fluctuations in consumer interest, undocumented workflows, rising competitors and a myriad of financial complications, it’s no wonder why the majority of startups end up failing, even though so many start out with such promising ideas.

Disaster seems to lurk around every corner, and no matter how hard you try to prepare yourself, there’s seemingly always something waiting to take your company out.

Some people see entrepreneurs as visionaries, as directors or as charismatic leaders. While they certainly can be all those things, I tend to see them more as disaster preparedness experts. Entrepreneurs who prepare better and respond better to disasters have the greatest track record of nurturing their businesses to success -- regardless of those other roles.

If you want to protect your business as much as possible, use these five preparation strategies:

How Much Should You Pay Yourself as a Business Owner?

It’s your business and your budget—which means the size of your paycheck is entirely up to you. But while the freedom of setting your own ...