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The Resource Center has all the info you'll need From content to user feedback, the resource center has the information you need for every level of the entrepreneurial process.
When cash flow turned positive and profits started coming in, the co-founder of an Internet start-up sought his advisory board's approval for new expenses. What he got was a barrage of questions: "Where are next year's projections? What's your mission statement?" As the business grew, the board made sure it stayed on track financially, raising prices as well as morale. And when the company was acquired, everybody cashed in.
Everything a computer person needs to learn for her business, she can get from her mentors--when they become members of her advisory board. First they provide expertise in sales, marketing, management and money matters. Then, morphing into a board of directors, they keep her on budget, on time and focused on her exit strategy. But perhaps their best lesson is that learning should be passed along to others.
Even an experienced serial entrepreneur can run into glitches when he starts a company dependent on complex software. Sales soared right away at this online computer business, leaving suppliers and customer-service staffers struggling to keep up. The solution--sell the business and start up another one with even more innovative technology--could only have worked in a virtual operation unburdened by infrastructure.
Financiers decode business plans, looking for the secrets of probable success. If yours shows a customer-driven opportunity that your company's talent, passion and skin in the game can actually pull off, they're more likely to be impressed.
Two hardworking entrepreneurs start an online publishing venture as a virtual company. They think they can communicate because they're wired. So, why are they always meeting at the local coffee shop? Profitable but inefficient, their business needs office space in order to grow beyond the launch phase--and, like parents, the founders have to get out of its way.
Entrepreneurs can create a company culture that reflects their values and motivates employees by experimenting with unusual events and activities in the workplace. Here are some ideas to jump-start your thinking.
One plus one equals millions when you combine two business models that work into a wildly popular Web site. It also helps to have high-powered investors and a built-in formula for building customer loyalty. As these business-school buddies discovered, advertisers love an affluent audience, so you can actually make money by giving it away.
Even on the Internet, says the founder of a company that provides online directories for e-businesses, most new business models are really variants or hybrids of the three basic old ones. To gain competitive advantage in the new economy, what entrepreneurs really need is a low-cost customer-acquisition strategy. And, they face increasing pressure from investors to be right the first time.
Are today's newly wealthy entrepreneurs robber barons or 21st-century heroes? Those who profit from the process of wealth creation are under increasing pressure to apply their skills and business experience to philanthropic ventures.
On-the-job training helped a former retailer with a passion for metals learn enough to start her own company. Family support, mentoring and ambitious networking help her niche business deal with the giants of the aerospace industry. Now she's focusing on becoming a big enough player to provide opportunities for others.
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