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How to Market to the iGeneration. A 5-Minute Guide to Business Models and Business Plans. Popular Today in Business: All Popular Articles There’s a reason why so many startups and small businesses fail: they are lacking a solid business model. One Statistics Canada study cited that only 68% of new micro-enterprises (1-4 employees) survive for two years. If you’re willing to sink money into your business idea, what’s the harm in taking a few hours to think things through and discover the potential obstacles sooner rather than later? These tips and tools will help you create the foundation of your business, i.e. your business model, helping you be one of those companies that overcomes the odds to make it beyond those crucial first few years. As described in the video, there are nine key parts to a business model: Value Proposition: What value does your business offer? The foundation of the business model is comprised of a solid value proposition and the people who will see and appreciate that value.

Executive Summaries: The Least Understood Part of Proposals. Popular Today in Business: All Popular Articles Perhaps it’s the name that confuses us—Executive Summary. We hone in on the word summary, when the real focus should be on the word executive. Personally, I prefer the term Executive Overview. Executive summaries are written for the benefit of—executives; a customer’s high-level decision makers.

Like anything we write, we need to construct our message for the intended audience; hence, we need to understand a little bit about these decision makers before we run off and try to summarize all the details of our sales proposals. Four Important Points About Executive Buyers They want to know that you understand their business, their concerns and their goalsThey want a high-level picture of how you can help them improve their businessThey don’t want—and frequently don’t understand—the technical detailsThey want it concise—typically no more than two to three pages Anatomy of an Effective Executive Summary.

Zenefits | Benefits, Payroll, and HR Outsourcing. TrustRadius: Software Reviews, Software Comparisons and More. SnapPages - Create a Website. Business Conferencing and Messaging. Mobile Website Design Software, Mobile Web Development Platform | Moovweb. Starting a Company? 8 Free Online Courses You Can't Miss. Entrepreneurial education is slowly but surely becoming more mainstream. Traditional universities are offering entrepreneurs more tools than ever before. But education start-ups such as Coursera and Udacity have taken this a step further--offering in-depth classes on entrepreneurship taught by industry heavy-weights such as Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur Steve Blank for free.

Here are eight classes that every entrepreneur should take. How to Build a Startup Steve Blank, author of The Startup Owner’s Manual and The Four Steps to the Epiphany, teaches this nine-lesson class. Students learn how to identify and engage customers, use feedback, market a product, and make strengthen a business model. “We used to think of startup as a smaller version of a large company,” says Blank on Udacity’s website. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies Taught by James V. Startup Engineering Introduction to Finance Law and the Entrepreneur Competitive Strategy Design Thinking for Business Innovation. Zenefits. Launch your brand in 60 seconds. Business Software and Services Reviews | G2 Crowd.

TapCanvas — Mobile apps for events, conferences and more. Best US Developers and Designers | GroupTalent. Professional Translation Services - One Hour Translation - Translation Agency. Free Trademark Search Online | Trademark filing & Trademark Registration Application | Online Corporations, Trademark Services, and others. Office Space Search - 42Floors. Unified Meeting Experience - Zoom. BodeTree | The Finance Tool for People Who Hate Finance. Legal Advice, Find a Lawyer, Ask a Lawyer | LawPivot. 9 Website Strategies That Lead To More Sales. “Why should I believe you?” There are a lot of questions going through a prospect’s mind when they come to your website. And this is one of the biggies you have to answer (and answer well!) Because your prospects are… Numb from being slammed by hundreds of marketing messages each day.Pissed off because they’ve bought plenty of products/services before that have failed to live up to their lofty claims.Confused and frustrated because, with so many choices, it’s difficult to differentiate one competitor’s solution from the next.

A few months ago I wrote an article here about the 4 website elements I’d take over good design any day. Featuring elements of credibility and proof on your website is critical to conversions. The most common way to bolster your credibility is the testimonial. So let’s look at 9 other ways you can beef up “The Credibility Factor” on your website to help convert skeptical prospects into buyers. Reviews Reviews are similar to testimonials. Related Recognition/Credentials. Platform for customer, partner, and internal team training. Legal advice online. Chat with a lawyer now on Lawdingo.

The Entrepreneur's Handbook: 101 Resources for First Time Entrepreneurs. Are you looking to take the leap into starting your own business in 2012? If you’re just starting to think about it, or if you have been planning it for a while, you still may have lots of unanswered questions. The following 101 resources will help you learn more about entrepreneurship, startups, small business, and much more. Entrepreneurs & Startups Entrepreneur.com – Business ideas and trends from Entrepreneur Magazine. The latest news, expert advice, and growth strategies for small business owners.Forbes for Entrepreneurs – Read the breaking Entrepreneurs coverage and top headlines on Forbes.Inc.

Startup Financing Entrepreneur.com on Startup Financing – Need help on startup financing? Business Planning Business, LLCs & Corporations Center – Starting a small business? Accounting & Bookkeeping Accounting Basics – Staying on top of your small business bookkeeping is important to your business financing. Employees Taxes Online Marketing Essential Software Small Business Blogs, News & Guides. Why Strategic Planning Goes Wrong. Reprinted by request As a consultant, executive staff member, board director, and teacher, I have had the opportunity to engage in a lot of strategic planning.

I think about it, research it, and look for ideas to make it work better than how it tends to work. It has always bothered me to know that more often than not strategic planning efforts go awry. In another article I wrote on this topic, I stated the biggest reason why strategic plans fail is that people don’t do them. While there is truth in that, the story doesn’t end there of course. It’s why people and organizations fail to do successful strategic planning that deserves some attention. The difference between Strategy and PlanLet’s start with what I suggest are some fundamental misconceptions about strategic planning. Strategy is not a blueprint or a roadmapBuild a house according to a set of blueprints and you will succeed in bringing to life someone’s vision of a house.

“Roadmap” is also an inadequate metaphor. J. So, now what? Overcoming Employees' Objection to Call Monitoring. “Mon­i­tor­ing makes me ner­vous.” Have you ever heard this from one of your front-line rep­re­sen­ta­tives (either cus­tomer ser­vice, tech­ni­cal sup­port, or inside sales)? If so, you’re not alone. This is a fre­quent objec­tion from employ­ees whose calls, e-mails, and chat ses­sions are monitored. Mon­i­tor­ing is an essen­tial tool in coach­ing your employ­ees and improv­ing your company’s level of ser­vice, sales, and pro­duc­tiv­ity, but get­ting your employ­ees accept being mon­i­tored can be a challenge.

The rea­son mon­i­tor­ing is such a vital part of assess­ing per­for­mance is that it’s the only way to know what your employ­ees’ strengths and areas of oppor­tu­nity are (at least as they relate to com­mu­ni­cat­ing with cus­tomers). Although mon­i­tor­ing is a very valu­able and com­mon­place func­tion, many employ­ees aren’t com­fort­able with it, and as a result they resist with a vari­ety of objections. “It’s an inva­sion of my privacy.” “You’re try­ing to micro­man­age me.” Welcome to Datahug. What Would PG Do? Wix Free Website Builder | Wix.com. Here’s Why Your Employees Are Just Not That Into You. Are you frustrated with employees who seem to be more “It’s all about me” than “How can I help my employer?” Do you wish your employees shared your commitment to your organization’s goals and success? If you can relate, join the club. As you undoubtedly know if you’ve been in management, HR, or OD for any length of time, employee engagement research has repeatedly shown that the majority of employees do not report being highly engaged.

In other words, the majority of employees are not particularly “into” their employer, the organization’s well being, or its goals. Recognizing and appreciating, but it’s not working… If you’re like most employers, you conduct the requisite engagement survey, put on the requisite employee appreciation events, and institute the requisite employee recognition programs. And still, the majority of your employees still don’t seem to care.

Would you like to know why? I might not know you, but this I DO know… So, here’s what I’ve found. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. The 5 things you should never say to a client [infographic. Hack PR. Most Important Business Case Studies. Associated Press Case: Microsoft's Search Key takeaway: There's no magic solution. It takes an entire organization's experience and talent. What happened? 10 years after its founding, Google had managed to become dominant in search and search advertising. Microsoft was a distant third, and a deal to buy Yahoo had fallen through. The case tracks Google's rise, Microsoft's initial search efforts, and Microsoft's push for real innovation in 2008, which led to Bing!

Thanks to Dr. 90 Things I Learned From Founding 4 Tech Companies. Jason Goldberg is an accomplished entrepreneur, executive, and investor with a passion for designing digital product experiences, including Fab. Jason is a product guy. He loves to blog, loves transparency, and loves trying to make people smile. A version of this post originally appeared on his blog, www.betashop.com. On October 27, 2010, I wrote a blog post about the “57 Things I Learned Founding Three Tech Companies.” This past week while in Tokyo for meetings, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on startups. As the questions came in, I realized that my 2010 list was great for what I had learned as of two years ago, but it also was in desperate need of an update to include what I’ve learned more recently, especially after pivoting in 2011 and scaling the company. So, here goes — 90 things I’ve learned founding four tech companies. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Sure, you’re not going to get it right at first, no one does. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. Best Advice I Ever Got: Jennifer Fleiss. When I reflect on these past three years--during which my sectionmate from business school, Jenn Hyman, and I started Rent the Runway--I could never have imagined that our business would reach the scale and success it has today. It's been an exciting, challenging, and crazy journey, and I had the following pieces of advice to guide me through from the onset. 1. Ditch the business plan. Jenn and I had a rule from the very beginning to never write a business plan. We had to get scrappy, and we first tested out our idea by going to Harvard with a trunk full of dresses that we let girls try on and rent.

So each time, we were getting closer and closer to what our actual concept was--an Internet dress-rental site--to prove that it was really going to work. 2. This piece of advice describes how Jenn and I built out our Rent the Runway team from the very beginning. Don't be afraid to enter an industry in which you have no experience. 3. We've also taken a lot of suggestions from customers. Understanding Fear of Process Improvement - Brad Power. By Brad Power | 2:00 PM September 27, 2012 A culture of continuous improvement is crucial to organizational performance and survival. Just ask Richard Aubut, CEO of South Shore Hospital, the leading regional provider of healthcare in southeastern Massachusetts.

“We don’t know what changes will be coming with healthcare reform and other changes in our industry,” he told me recently. “But we do know we need to build the capability to deal with whatever does. That’s why we’ve added continuous improvement to our cultural pillars.” Yet most reports, such as John Kotter’s classic Harvard Business Review article “Leading Change: Why Transformation Effort Fail,” show that few attempts at fundamental change are very successful, a few are utter failures, and most fall somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt to failure. Ironically, few of these discussions pursued this issue much further to get at the root cause. Why do cultures resist change? Because they are successful. Why are they successful? How to Write a High-Quality eBook in 30 Days. Review Signal - Web Hosting Reviews. 100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work.

5. Mental clutter. 6. Fear that someone will steal your idea. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. Possible antidotes A big thank you to Jim Aubele, Fran Tyson-Marchino, Nirit Sharon, Cindy Pearce, Robert Fischaleck, Deborah Medenbach, Amy de Boinville, Glenna Dumay, Bert Dromedary, and Sally Kaiser for their contributions to this list. A good way to get ideas at workIdea ChampionsA virtual way to get new ideas Our no BS creative thinking training Photo PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoIllustrationPhotoPhotoIllustrationPhotoPhotoCartoon.

Why Aren't You Delegating? - Amy Gallo - Best Practices. You have way too much to do, you’re buried in work, and it seems there’s no way out from under it all. But there is: delegation. Yes, yes, you know it’s important to do and you know it will save you time and help others develop new skills. So why aren’t you doing it? What the Experts Say Delegation is a critical skill. “Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and author of What Were They Thinking?

: Unconventional Wisdom About Management. Watch for warning signs You may not realize that you’re unnecessarily hoarding work. Understand why you’re not delegating There are plenty of reasons why managers don’t delegate. Measure how you’re doing Once you’ve recognized what’s standing in your way, the next logical step is to adjust your behavior. MOO | Custom Business Cards, MiniCards, Postcards and more... | moo.com USA. Great perks for everyone | AnyPerk. Driving Change Without Rocking the Boat - WSJ.com. Do You Need To Be A Jerk To Be A Successful Entrepreneur? Editor’s note: Legendary investor Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures. You can follow him on Twitter at @vkhosla.

And make sure to catch Khosla’s fireside chat at Disrupt SF at 1:55 pm PT on Wednesday. I recently read Ben Austen’s WIRED article about Steve Jobs, which prompted me to put together my thoughts about the tradeoffs of being a successful entrepreneur. Austen’s article draws a caricature of Jobs and puts forth a series of false choices. 1. 2. 3. 4. I’m not interested in commenting on Jobs’ personality and what it was or wasn’t. “Build a team of A players” is part of the entrepreneur’s catechism.

Being clear about not tolerating B players and fixing any hiring mistakes is key. The ability and willingness to make tough calls, whether they involve products or people, is part of the required skill set for entrepreneurs. That being said, I prefer brutal honesty to hypocritical politeness. Good etiquette, unless it gets in the way, increases the probability of success. Logo Design, Web Design and More. Design Done Differently | 99designs. Statwing | Intuitive Data Analysis. Top 25 Websites for CEOs.

Duedil | Search Companies House Information For Free. 5 Leadership Lessons You Won't Learn in B-School. I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Run Your Own Business | Find a Niche | Make More Money. Customers Don't Want More Features - Donald Reinertsen and Stefan Thomke. How to Find Out What Customers Will Pay - Rafi Mohammed. Cost of Turnover Calculator. How To Woo Students And Influence Early Adopters.

KarmaHire: Technical interview software and digital interview platform. Employee-Suggestion Programs That Work. 3 Ways To Make Everyone Around You Smarter. Complainers in the Office: 3 Ways to Deal With Them. Webs - Make a free website, get free hosting. The Anatomy of a Killer Business Plan. Why a Laser Focus Is Bad for Business. 13 Steps For Raising a Fortune in Start-up Funding. The ABCs Of VC Funding And Building Your Board.

The Only 10 Slides You Need To Pitch Investors. Silicon Valley 50: Angel and Early Stage Investors. Silicon Valley 50: Angel and Early Stage Investors.