Buy & Sell Services from £5 for your new Startup Business with ExpertCrowd.co.uk

Featured News

9 Innovation Practices For Long-Term Business Health

A guiding principle for startup success, as well as the long-term health of a mature business, is a liberal dose of innovation at the beginning, with additions of the same on a regular basis. Unfortunately, innovation means change, and most business professionals and existing customers, by default, hate change. Thus without thinking, every company becomes more static. In fact, innovation needs to be an integral part of the company culture and every process from the beginning. This takes leadership from the top, and an ongoing focus on market change, customer feedback, and internal measurement and rewards. For example, Google has institutionalized innovation through a manifesto initiated by Marissa Mayer in her early days as a VP there. I believe these basic practices of innovation, paraphr...

6 Demand Generation Metrics To Quantify Marketing ROI

Every entrepreneur knows that good demand generation marketing is the key to growth these days, but very few have the discipline or know-how to measure return in a world of a thousand tools and techniques. Even those things that worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, as the market matures, the culture changes, and competitors appear with new solutions. Business success is all about meeting the needs of the modern buyer, who is more informed, has access to more choices, and is ever smarter about making purchasing decisions. In fact, we now live in a buyer-led digital age, where the traditional media push-marketing efforts just don’t work. Peter Drucker’s old comment that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” is more true now than ever. In the classic book, “Driving Demand: Transforming B2B...

7 Reasons To Not Give Up Too Soon On Your New Venture

Most of the young entrepreneurs I know are classic proof of the old adage that people tend to overestimate what they can do in a short period, and underestimate what they can do over a long period. They become frustrated when they are unable to build their startup in a weekend, and give up way too soon when the path to real success seems to be interminable. Both problems can be mitigated by learning the power of frequency, as defined in the classic book by Jocelyn K. Glei, “Manage Your Day-to-Day,” which asserts that working consistently and frequently on something makes it possible to accomplish more, with greater originality, than spasmodic bursts of effort. A successful startup needs to be a daily task, with consistent focus. I suggest that the following key reasons from Glei for how th...

Conscious Capitalism Drives Winning Businesses Today

I’ve noticed that most young entrepreneurs are more socially conscious today than ever before, which is a great trend. Unfortunately, some are so focused on this principle that they forget that every business, even nonprofits, have to practice the basic principles of capitalism (build a business model to make money) to cover their costs to do good things another day. Examples of profitable companies practicing this model include Trader Joe’s, led by Doug Rauch as retired president, now co-CEO of Conscious Capitalism®, and the Container Store, built by Kip Tindell. Both of these are purpose-driven businesses that boast high growth, high loyalty, and very low employee turnover. You can find dozens more on the Conscious Capitalism web site. Of course a profitable model isn’t required if you i...

How To Become A Lifelong Learner In A World Of Change

As a new business advisor, I often meet aspiring entrepreneurs looking for that magic formula for success. I tell them that success in today’s rapidly changing environment simply means learning and adapting faster than your competitors. There are no static rules, or constant states to strive for. Yet the fact is that most of us are very bad at learning, since it implies risk and failure. It’s easy to say that the best business leaders never stop learning, but it’s harder to put specifics behind this process. I found some help on the steps in a new book, “Never Stop Learning,” by Bradley R. Staats. From the Flagler Business School, he brings a great combination of the latest research in behavioral science with engaging stories that demonstrate real learning in business. I will paraphrase hi...

7 Steps To Building A Highly Engaged New Venture Team

Entrepreneurs need to be effective team leaders, since no one can transform an idea into a product and a business without some help. Unfortunately many founders I work with as a mentor are experts on the technical side, but have no insight into leading a team. But fortunately, team building is a skill that can be learned and practiced, for those willing to put in some effort. The only real alternative is to find a co-founder who can build and lead the team, while you focus on the product. Otherwise, in my experience, the startup will fail. The importance and the specifics of practical team leadership were re-confirmed to me recently in the classic book, “Unlocked,” by Robert S. Murray, who is a recognized expert in the field of business leadership. I recommend his checklist as a starting p...

Make Your Total Customer Experience Your Winning Edge

Through the Internet today, it’s easy to find and compare the technical specifications for every solution in the world that claims to solve your problem, and there will be many. Most often the differentiators go beyond the product, into the ease of ordering, delivery, customer reviews, and finding your options. Your overall customer experience will trump product features every time. For example, Zappos has been winning customers for years with their ease of product selection, shipping speeds, and personalized customer service. People post reviews talking about their delightful experiences, more than the perfect product. Zappos is recognized as a winner in the design of the whole customer experience, more so than the design of their shoes and clothing. Thus every entrepreneur and inventor n...

5 Rules For Market-Focused Versus Technology Solution

Technical entrepreneurs love their technology, and often are driven to launch a startup on the assumption that everyone will buy any solution which highlights this technology. Instead, they need to validate a customer problem and real market need first. Don’t create solutions looking for a problem, since investors ignore these, and customers other than early adopters will be hard to find. Exciting new technologies these days range from the easier to use social media software platforms I see almost every week, to new transportation models, like consumer space travel and hydrogen fuel autos. These founders all seem to be pushing their technology, rather than highlighting their solution to a painful need. Customers buy solutions, not technology. In fact, outside of those few early adopters, t...

5 Reasons Most New Venture Creators Need A Co-Founder

It seems like every entrepreneur I meet these days is quick to proclaim themselves a visionary, expecting that will give more credibility to their startup idea, and improve their odds with investors. In reality, I’m one of the majority of investors who believe that startup success is more about the execution than the idea. Thus, unless the visionary highlights a cofounder who can take the vision and execute, I assume the worst. It’s true that gifted visionaries bring many good things to an organization, including big picture ideas, seeing around corners, and a hunter mentality. Yet they also come with a set of shortcomings. These were outlined well, with some good recommendations for overcoming them, in the classic book, “Rocket Fuel,” by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, both with a wealt...

7 Ways To Position Competitors Without Any Negativity

Most entrepreneurs spend far too much time thinking negatively about competitors, and can’t resist making derogatory statements to their own team, to investors, and even to customers. This approach only makes these important constituents question your integrity, intelligence, and your understanding of business basics. Pointing out flaws in others does not give you strength. As an investor, I always listen carefully to what an entrepreneur says, and does not say, about competition. Every business area has competition and every customer has alternatives, so a smart entrepreneur needs to acknowledge these as a positive in defining a big market, and position the features of a new solution in this context. Here are seven key ways to do this: Frame the competition as manageable. Investors want t...

Skip to toolbar