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Explore the Entrepreneurship.org Resource Center to find resources. Designed with entrepreneurs in mind, our resource center allows you to find materials to grow great ideas.
Entrepreneurs will find a host of business-building resources at nearby colleges and universities, among them books, brains and bodies, writes the author. Scour the libraries for printed materials, tap faculty for consulting jobs, and marshall students for research and staffing needs, he advises. In summing up, he offers valuable tips for getting acquainted and making the best use of campus resources.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
If you think hiring is tough in today's tight labor market, you should figure that retaining people is even tougher. To keep employees, small-company owners must provide more than just competitive compensation packages, the author writes. What really makes the difference is a CEO's ability to communicate an organizational vision and to recognize the people who translate that vision into revenue and profit.
Any entrepreneur who hopes to raise capital from individual investors, so-called "angels," should be properly prepared with a presentation, business plan, list of potential angels, and outline of the opportunity his or her new venture affords. The author explains that it's also important to avoid making such mistakes as allowing investors to have too large a stake in the enterprise. That could cause problems should the company fail, he writes, in an article filled with specific tips for dealing with these financiers.
Niche companies needn't be intimidated by their large corporate competitors because even the biggest companies must be adept at marketing differently to discreet audiences, writes the author, who founded the country's leading black-owned media concern. The solution is to stick to your specialty, maintain excitement with new ideas, and commit resources to expanding the brand.
Earl Graves, the founder and publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine, offers statistical evidence and his own business experience to explain businesses lose out when they dismiss the fact that the African-American consumer is most interested in a product or service's business value, not it's perceived social value. The incorrect assumptions about the African-American market that many businesses make can be corrected through, as Graves has discovered, with persistence and careful explanations of the overwhelmingly positive qualities of the African-American consumer.
Niche businesses either start with specific offerings for a discreet audience or carve out specialities within a broader base. Either way, entrepreneurs who operate niche companies must understand themselves, their goals, and their customers, in order to deliver marketing campaigns that are simple and effective.
A business plan for entrepreneurs should engage the heart as well as the head, writes the author, who advises two plans-the formal document for bankers and investors, and then, the business plan that comes from your heart.
Entrepreneurs need a "just-right" business plan, one that provides a measuring stick for fast growth without overtaking performance, writes this computer-consulting entrepreneur.
A formal business plan, often considered an anathema to entrepreneurs who fancy themselves "do-ers" rather than thinkers, enables clear thinking, clarity of purpose and a benchmark against which ventures can measure success. Included are a list of do's and don'ts for entrepreneurs new to (or bewildered by) the essential planning process.
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