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8 Crucial Elements of Startup Success

8 Crucial Elements of Startup Success
Bill Clark is the CEO of MicroAngel Capital Partners, a venture firm that gives more investors access to alternative investments. He also gives investors the ability to invest in startups online through crowdfunding. You can follow him on Twitter @austinbillc. Most people understand that a high percentage of startups never make it. So what if you could give yourself a leg up on the competition? 1. If you don’t have the skills to code, make sure you find someone with a solid programming background who can implement your idea. 2. Sometimes you’ll encounter a last-minute opportunity to add features to your product. 3. If you’re developing a product, make sure you truly understand the needs of your end users. 4. Solving a problem for a targeted niche is not a bad idea — the smaller the niche, the less competition you may face. 5. As most startups know, determining how much money to raise is difficult. 6. As obvious as this one sounds, startups waste money every day. 7. 8. Related:  Starting Out

Want to Start a Company? 5 Questions to Know You're Ready I teach undergraduate and graduate students at Babson College (ranked tops in Entrepreneurship by US News and World Report 19 years in a row). Every semester students meet with me and ask whether they should start a company now or wait. If you are trying to decide whether to start a company, my response to them may be of interest. My general advice is that students should work 10 years before they start companies because that gives them industry knowledge, contacts, and confidence. But you may already have all that. 1. Investors like to place their capital into markets that are currently tiny but are growing very fast. No doubt, Google investors are glad they put capital into Brin and Page's page-rank algorithm before they realized that they could sell advertisements next to search results. 2. Needless to say, nobody can know for sure whether a small market will get big or just stay small forever. 3. Potential customers are not eager to work with start-ups. 4. 5.

How to Copyright? | Get Free Copyright Protection Online | Myows® Forget The Mission Statement. What's Your Mission Question? In a previous article, I shared five questions that today’s forward-thinking companies should be asking, based on input from top business consultants. This second installment, on the same theme, presents five more questions--but with a specific focus this time. These are questions that zero in on the mission and higher purpose of a company. Think of them as “mission questions.” Most companies, of course, articulate their missions by way of formal “statements.” But often they’re banal pronouncements (We save people money so they can live better. Questions, on the other hand, can provide a reality check on whether or not a business is staying true to what it stands for and aims to achieve. 1. Over time, companies can lose sight of what they first set out to do. But what helps guide the company at all times is the knowledge that “we arose out of our love of nature and the wilderness,” as Sheahan puts it. 2. 3. 4. 5. [ILLUSTRATIONS: Questions via Shutterstock]

Don’t Get Distracted When Your Workplace is Called Home - You have the comforts of your living room to call your workplace, yet you find yourself more stressed out than if you were in an office space filled with varying personalities. So, how can you better the situation so that you’re both productive and happy at the same time? For many people who work from home, their days are littered with distractions – the phone, children, clutter, annoying family members and/or friends who think that your time is their time too. Before you begin that new job from home, follow some guidelines to make for a better and more prosperous situation: Set up strategy – Lay down the ground rules for all those who you will or may come in contact with during the hours you’re supposed to be working. If you have a significant other and/or children, set aside the necessary time daily for them, but make sure they know that your 9 to 5 hours are for work, not play. Working from home can be a very positive experience; making it work is oftentimes the job in itself.

The New Psychology of Business Models | Ask Atma Management 3.0 – a psychological shift You have a great business idea but you are not sure how to develop it. Should you follow conventional wisdom and write-up a thirty-page business plan? I first encountered the idea of developing a one-page business model in 2007 when I came across the Osterwalder model on the web. Fortunately, it all clicked when I encountered the literature around lean startups. It begins with a different starting point Now that you have an idea for your business, or perhaps your company has an idea for a new division, or you want to reboot, either way you need a business model. The collapse of the customer feedback float In 1982 John Naisbitt wrote, in his classic book on future studies Megatrends, about the collapse of the information float. Today, technologies such as social media, smart phones, high-speed data mining, ubiquitously networked electronic devices, etc… have precipitated the collapse of the customer feedback float. The cycle is simple: Like this:

The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King If you’re a designer, entrepreneur, or creative – you probably haven’t been asked for your resume in a long time. Instead, people Google you – and quickly assess your talents based on your website, portfolio, and social media profiles. Do they resonate with what you’re sharing? one are the days of “Just the facts, M’am.” To help you with this, your bio should address the following 5 questions: Who am I? Your bio is the lynchpin for expanding your thought leadership and recognition, especially online. Here’s the challenge: who taught you how to write your bio? Admittedly, most of us never got a lesson in this essential task. The personal branding industry has only muddied the waters. Instead, share more of what you really care about. With all this in mind, here’s a few key pointers for reinventing your bio as a story: 1. You’re a creative. 2. Explain the origin for how you came to see the world in this way. 3. Think frugally here. 4. What’s Your Take?

Tell a four-word story. — Design story Forget the elevator pitch. You only get four words. If you want to start a business or launch a new project, you need to be able to describe your effort in four words. Why four? If you write a longer story, the door cracks open to ambiguity; you can start to hedge your bets, get vague or abstract. Stick with four. If this sound impossibly hard, then keep at it. Here’s my take on a few well-known companies: Pinterest: Organize everything you love.Facebook: Hear from your friends.Google: Easily find useful information. “There’s no better way to force a conversation about what your team values than to write your four-word story.” Here’s a step-by-step workshop you can try during your next team meeting. Step 1:Start by brainstorming all the words you can think of that relate to your company. Step2:Eliminate some that are a little off the mark. Step3:Consolidate the groups until you only have four. Step5:Test the sentence. More… We build better when we work together.

46 Ways To Start A Business With No Money Most people who want to start their own business don’t have a ton of money laying around and it’s probably one the most common questions I get emailed about: How can I get started without a lot of cash? Well I’ve put together a list below of the best ideas I’ve heard and personally used. I hope you find it useful! The three basic strategies to starting a business without much money are: Delay the normal “business starting” activities like incorporating, hiring, renting office or retail space, etc until AFTER your business has started earning money. This is known as bootstrapping.Doing everything yourself and spending your personal time instead of hiring an expert. Start With The Easy Stuff: Eliminate Expenses Don’t rent an office! Legal Stuff and Incorporating Make a website for your business Getting a Logo Don’t hire a fancy graphic designer. Accepting Credit Cards Starting a service business where you consult, coach, teach, etc Creating Info Products Before investing in a retail location…

50 Time Saving Tips for Small Businesses As a small business owner, free time is probably not something you have a whole lot of. What you do have a lot of are tasks to accomplish and deadlines to meet. So how can you better accomplish these tasks in a shorter amount of time? Below are 50 time saving tips to help you save time throughout your workday. 1. Each morning, write out a detailed to-do list of the things you want to accomplish that day. 2. Figure out when and how you’ll accomplish each item on your daily list – will you need help, supplies, etc.? 3. It’s inevitable that sometimes you’ll have to cut items off your to-do list, so decide early what the most important items are and prioritize. 4. You’ll need to get to those projects that have urgent deadlines so leave the ones that are due next week for later. 5. If your list includes some overwhelming items, break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. 6. Don’t expect to accomplish everything in an hour. 7. 8. Need some motivation to complete a project? 9. 10. 11. 12.

How to Succeed in the Age of Going Solo 15 Steps to Start your Own Tech Business: Part 1 I was only 19 when I moved to Berlin to study Computer Science and International Management. My big dream was to start a global tech company that would have a lasting impact in Europe. Now, 6Wunderkinder is almost three years old and looking back, things have turned out so much more differently than what I had expected. So far it has been the best time of my life – What a ride! As founder and CEO of 6Wunderkinder, I am living my dream. Often students, programmers, designers and business people ask me how it was in the early days. I know how this feels. So, I decided that it’s time to write a series of blog posts, to share my learnings and encourage all of you to start your own adventures whether it's in Europe or any other place in the world. Here’s what I am going to write about in the coming weeks. 1. If you are dreaming about starting your own company, but you don’t know exactly what it is you want to do or if it’s even the right time, use your time to study. 2. 3.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Personal Branding Everyone’s personal brand is different, even if by the tiniest subtlety. So, there are very few “sins” of personal branding that universally apply to all. But, I’m confident that the seven personal branding sins listed below can be applied to everyone – including you (but let’s hope they don’t)! Without further ado, here are 7 sinful characteristics of a personal brand that you should absolutely aim to avoid. 1. Surprise! Personal branding is a bit like fashion. 2. The internet is a glorious place where we all have the freedom to say and do pretty much whatever the hell we like. Specifically, don’t call yourself an expert or a guru unless you really are one. 3. Sure, your personal brand is ultimately a reflection of you and you alone. I love the 90/10 rule put forth by Jack Humphrey. 4. Admittedly, the personal branding hype machine is screaming at an all-time high right now. Consider Ola Rynge’s take on the importance of passion. 5. 6. 7. What do you think?

Forget about generating billions: Why entrepreneurs should create $1,000 startups Walter Chen is the founder and CEO of iDoneThis, the easiest way to share and celebrate what you get done at work, every day. On his downtime, he blogs about management, entrepreneurship, and happiness on the iDoneThis blog. Most entrepreneurs dream about building the next big billion-dollar company. After all, who doesn’t want to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg? It’s a fair aspiration, but oftentimes, the Apple, Google, and Facebook-shaped stars in their eyes end up clouding their vision. All the hopes and visions in the world won’t get you any closer to your billion-dollar exit. Gary Chou, an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, teaches people how to launch a startup by taking an entirely contrary approach. By creating a $1,000 startup, you’ll learn three valuable lessons. 1. Your focus is inherently diffracted when you’re dependent on a day job to make a living or on investors to keep your business afloat. 2. 3. So, how do you build a $1,000 startup?