Archives for June 2012

Should You Pursue Venture Capital?

It’s rare that you’ll see me post an article from another website on this blog, but I read this and thought it was important. It’s also a topic I don’t know very much about. Venture capital. This is being reprinted with permission from Peter Ireland.

With my first business, HydroSport, I worked at least 2 jobs for about 10 years to fund it. If I had known then how much time and money it would take I don’t think I would have done it. It would have been way too overwhelming. But once I was about half way into it there was really no turning back. You get to a certain point where you just have too much time and money invested to give up.

venture capital for entrepreneurs

venture capital for entrepreneurs

Throughout the whole process I kept wishing a guardian angel investor would come along and save me, but that never happened. Now after reading this article by Peter Ireland, maybe I was on the right path after all and didn’t know it.

Venture Capital

Are you really sure that you want to go this route? Most entrepreneurs who pursue venture capital don’t qualify and merely end up wasting a lot of time and energy in a futile endeavor.

It gets worse, a venture capital firm will in most cases fire the founder and founding team within months of an early financing round. The Wall Street Journal pointed this out in a article by Barnaby Federer from September 30th, 2002:

  “If you ask a VC what value they add, and you get 
them after a few drinks, they’ll say, ‘We replace the CEO’ “, 
he said. And that, he indicated, does not vary 
with the economic climate.
The Best Startup Guides for Entrepreneurs

There is nothing smarter than learning from the successes and mistakes of others so that you do not waste time “re-inventing the wheel”. The AVC Smart Startup Guide teaches you the startup strategies and tactics of the founders of America’s fastest growing startups, the “Inc 500”. Most of these highly successful companies were launched without outside capital. “It can’t be done!”, you say?  Well, here’s proof positive that their knowledge can offered in a systemized manner you can apply to your own startup. [Read more…]

Are You Creating Customers For Life?

The other day I had an urgent swiggies order for a kid’s birthday party on the other side of the country. So I packaged up the box and headed down to the shipping company I normally use. You have to print everything up online and put the shipping label on the package before getting to the distribution station.

customers for life

customers for life

For some reason I couldn’t remember which log in and password I used, so I went down in person. The people there weren’t very helpful and just told me to go back home and call the company for help. So I did. And I waited and waited on the phone for what seemed like an eternity. When I finally got someone on the phone I was told to jump through some more hoops online, but it still didn’t work. I went back down and they basically told me there was nothing they could do.

So, I went to the competition. They both charge about the same thing, only the other company lets you walk in and just fill out the paperwork. You can do it online if you want to save time, but it’s not mandatory. By now you probably know which companies I’m talking about if you do a lot of shipping. [Read more…]

3 Reasons Competition is Good For Your Business

If you think having competition is like a thorn in your side maybe you’re not using it as

competitive advantage

competitive advantage

“competitive advantage”. When there are plenty of jobs and business to go around we tend to get complacent and fail to do the things we need to do to be competitive ourselves. We tend to take customers and employers for granted. Customer service drops off and innovation goes by the wayside.

In today’s fast paced global economy you have to tread water faster and better just to keep up. It’s a lot more work than it used to be. But businesses, job seekers and individuals that work harder, try harder, act smarter, reinvent, and evolve will always land on their feet.

Here are 3 reasons to welcome competition in your business:

  1. It Makes Your Customer Service Better – When you’re on the treadmill of a business boom there simply isn’t enough time in a day to stop and really evaluate every single customer. Things are moving fast and customers are lined up to buy your product or service. There are several yogurt stores in my neighborhood, but only one has lines around the block. It was the original, and somehow they were able to attract and retain those customers who have become so loyal they will wait in a long line rather than walk across the street for the same yogurt where there’s no line. Great customer service goes a long way and it’s free. Make customers fall in love with you and treat them right. Then when competition comes along they won’t even think of going anywhere else. [Read more…]

Creating an Award Winning Business

Everyone loves a winner. We want to be associated with winners, get close to winners, be friends with winners. Maybe deep down it’s because we hope that some of that luck will rub off on us. And it’s the same with a business.

If you want to prove that your business is worthy, there’s no better way than to start winning some awards for it. I think it’s great because it forces you to go through each segment of your business and figure out how you can, not only make it better, but how you can make it worthy of an award.

award winning business

award winning business

I’m writing this on the heels of an award won by swiggies. The consumers voted and gave swiggies the Toyman Award of Excellence for innovation and quality.

Winning an award is validation that you’re doing something right. It’s validation that other people think your business, or products or services are as good as you think they are. And you should shout that from the rooftops. In fact, other people will probably already be shouting it. Winning awards gets you noticed. It gets you prestige in your industry.

The first award I entered was the NASDAQ Product of the Year award. I was up against some large companies and the winner was actually the one that got the most votes. To get in the running you were judged by the industry. But the winner was chosen from the most votes. I made it to semi finalist and NASDAQ had a big party for the winners. It was a very nice party! [Read more…]

What an Entrepreneur Can Learn From a Zumba Teacher

entrepreneurI always say you can learn something from everyone if you pay attention. L.A. DanceFit just opened right across the street from me so, even though I didn’t know anything about Zumba I figured it would be crazy not to at least go and see what it’s like. It’s awesome, BTW. And so is the teacher, Wil.

When I heard that Zumba was started by an aerobics teacher who had forgotten his music for class and had to improvise with his salsa and merengue music, I liked it already. One way to be innovative is simply by sheer accident. That’s how many well known inventions were created. It’s the people that realize they have an opportunity to capitalize on that lucky accident, who will succeed. So, here’s what I learned today: [Read more…]