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Congratulations: You have survived the recession. Now what? If you have ever had the urge to start your own business, now may be a good time to make a move.
Startup CEOs wear many hats. None, perhaps, is more important than that of "company pitchman."
Branding is all about differentiation -- standing out in the customer's brain by being different than the competition. Search engine optimization is all about keywords, which identify what's already in a customer's brain about your category.
You don't need a lot of money to start a company, sometimes none at all.
An old friend used to write on his easel the words "Innovate, Emigrate or Evaporate." It was his shorthand way of saying that to compete in a globalized market, Innovation was essential.
If you're thinking about entrepreneurship, you've probably heard that you should start your business before you quit your day job. It's good advise, but not always practical.
In the depths of the credit crunch, community lenders become a popular financing source for Main Street. But small-business owners may need to work harder to get support from local banks these days.
L.P.I. Consumer Products makes and distributes patented ShaveMate all-in-one razors that feature shaving cream dispensed from the handle.
In times of crisis people always look for inspirational leaders. What makes for inspiration is subjective, but there is one common element when speaking about leaders who inspire: they have a strong leadership presence.
By presence we mean "earned authority." That is, people follow your leadership because you are a proven quantity, whose credibility rests on your having gotten things done. Every leader must aspire to demonstrate presence in order to inspire; this is a theme explored in a new book, 12 Steps to Power Presence: How Leaders Assert their Authority to Lead.
With the market for early-stage capital beginning to bounce back, I'm once again fielding calls from entrepreneurs wanting to know how much of their company to give away to investors to raise the money they need to launch their businesses or take them to the next level.
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to this question. An established business with sales, profits and cash flow may sell for five to 10 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. But it's a lot harder to put a price tag on an early-stage venture that consists of a business plan, a web site and the founder's hopes and dreams. As a result, negotiations between start-ups and prospective investors often turn into angry arm-wrestling matches that end with both sides walking away empty-handed.
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