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How to Leverage Infographics for B2C Marketing

How to Leverage Infographics for B2C Marketing | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The effectiveness of an infographic as a marketing material depends in large part on the presentation or layout. The visual appeal plus the way information is displayed can go a long way to securing a sale.


Infographics present statistical data in a more palatable manner. Basically, it delivers information as a story, in a way that’s easier to understand. That’s why data shown in these graphics are more easily retained by viewers than if they read it in a paragraph.


With that in mind, marketers can take advantage of this potential and present their products in such a way that it will remain in the minds of the consumers. One of the best ways to do that is to tell a tale....

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Via Jeff Domansky
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This explains very well what infographics can do, images in general, and Pinterest for ecommerce.

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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, November 8, 2013 9:40 AM

Content marketing with infographics.

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Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
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Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls

Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

By Jessica Livingston (This post is derived from a talk I gave at SV Angel's CEO Summit.) 

A lot has been written about the dangers that early-stage startups face. But startups face a different and equally lethal set of dangers in what we could call the mid-stage–the stage after the company has figured out what it's doing and has raised some money to go off and do it.

Because of where YC sits on the funding timeline and the volume of startups we fund, there is probably no one who has watched more companies negotiate the mid-stage than us. Twice a year we accept a batch of startups (the last one had 114 companies in it). We work with them for several months on whatever is their biggest problem, and then help them raise money from investors. After that, they go off into the world to execute their plan.  And you know what? A lot of them fall into traps of various sorts. I'm going to give you a list of the worst pitfalls I see, and explain how to avoid them.

We’ve now funded more than 800 startups. One advantage of having so much data is that we can recognize patterns pretty clearly. Every one of these traps is one we've seen startup after startup fall into. And many of you who read this post will fall into these traps, even though I've already warned you about them. That's how dangerous they are. Click on image or title to read on.



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"I loved working with Growthink. The staff are passionate about their work and committed to what they do in a way that can only be achieved when you love what you do. They helped keep us on track to achieve our planning goals. I am looking forward to continued success working with everyone from Growthink in the future."
- Venus Williams, Professional Tennis Player and CEO, V Starr Interiors

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Important to read. After funding 800 startups, Jessica Livingston, a co-founder of YC, YCombinator, describes the pitfalls of startups who did get funding.

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The 6 Elements of Persuasion (Infographic)

The 6 Elements of Persuasion (Infographic) | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
When you want to get your customer to say yes, keep these principles in mind.

The word "influencer" gets thrown around a lot in business, but how does the power of the persuasion really work? An infographic from U.K.-based virtual phone service Everreach, explains the elements companies can utilize to impact their customers and get to "yes." The list is based on the teachings of Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of the popular book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

For businesses, the principles of "reciprocity" and "scarcity" are big factors in the persuasion game. Customers feel more inclined to appreciate your business, for instance, when they've been given something personalized or unexpected. In that same vein, they also tend to want things that are scarcer, which is why limited-time offers tend to be a big selling point.

Customers are also big on trust. Your company can build lasting customer relationships by emphasizing your knowledge and "authority" in your industry. Try providing a trial period for your service, allowing your future clients to make a small commitment to start. 

For more on how to influence your customers and potential clients and the importance of consensus and finding common ground, check out the infographic. Click on the title or image of this article.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Finding the right things to say or do can make a huge difference. The examples on the #infographic are excellent and will teach a few people skills.

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5 Jedi Mind Tricks to Dramatically Improve Your Performance

5 Jedi Mind Tricks to Dramatically Improve Your Performance | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
In order to perform at the highest level, it's more important than ever to focus on living in the present.

Andy Puddicombe spent 10 years studying to become an ordained Tibetan monk and is now the successful co-founder of the meditation app, Headspace. In his TED talk, he says:

"I think the present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary, but we spend so little time in the present that it is anything but ordinary. Our mind is our most precious and valuable resource that we depend upon to be creative, focused, spontaneous, and perform at our very best in everything that we do, and yet we don't take any time to look after it. We spend more time looking after our clothes, cars, and hair than our mind."

This got me thinking about the importance of being fully present during my whirlwind days of back-to-back calls and meetings, and how much bigger and impact I can have when I'm fully focused, and not distracted by other thoughts or tech devices.

Below, I've outlined five keys to maintaining focused attention and spending more time in the moment.

Click on image or title to read the complete article.





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Hello Dave,
You are a treasure to the Business community.
I have completed my business plan on the second day with your template.  And I had tried and failed for a year before.
Dawson


Via Oliver Durrer
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

I love articles like this. Being an entrepreneur is all about change and innovation. Understanding the science behind that is of the utmost importance. We all get a sense of magic when we see words such as 'Jedi', or read quotes related to meditation or from great authors such as Ursula le Guin, one of my all time favorites.


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6 Practical Steps to Learning How to Build a Startup

6 Practical Steps to Learning How to Build a Startup | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Starting a new and innovative business is not a highly structured process, and finding time for structured learning is unlikely.

Despite the rush in every academic institution to offer more courses on entrepreneurship, I still haven’t found it to be something you can learn in school. Of course, you can pick up the basic principles this way, but the problem is that the practical rules for success are changing so fast that no academic can keep up. The best thing you can learn in school is how to learn.

The successful entrepreneurs I have met and worked with over the years all seem to share that passion for learning, and they see rapid market change not as a problem, but as an opportunity for them to move ahead of the crowd in changing the world. Making big money is usually the last thing on their mind, and most are happy living on Ramen noodles in a sparse apartment.

From a practical standpoint, there are many ways to learn about business change, and the opportunities that may spring up at any moment. Here are six steps that every aspiring entrepreneur should take full advantage of:  Click on title or image to read more.




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When you're underwater, and resource-constrained, like most startups, Growthink can be a valuable partner to help you progress in areas like organizing and developing the business plan and pursuing funding.
Their service can be a well-managed extension of your own human resources. The people at Growthink care about their work and are very "hands-on", which is required in this process.
We found Growthink to be strong not only with the assigned projects, but also the extra things needed to get a company off the ground, and not always specifically laid out in the assignment - networking for advisors, funding sources, potential partners. We used them for more than one of our startups.  
- Marc Junkunc, Principal

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Martin Zwilling hits the nail right on the head. There is no school to learn how to create startups or how to be an entrepreneur. Just learn how to learn, see opportunities, adapt, be flexible... Great article.

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7 Strategies for Dealing With Negative People

7 Strategies for Dealing With Negative People | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/CfUe

Pessimism is contagious. Have a plan to shield yourself from the people who know no joy.

We’ve all experienced the side effects of a negative friend, colleague or co-worker. Perhaps you work with someone who complains endlessly about his job but never offers any solutions. Or, a good friend speaks unfavorably about others in your circle and creates drama.

These negative people are markedly pessimistic and will exhaust anyone. Destructive energy and drama follow them everywhere. If you’re not careful, they can pull you into their chaos -- disrupting your focus and sidelining your goals.

Use these seven strategies to better deal with negative people in your life.

Read more: http://snip.ly/CfUe




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Hello Dave,
You are a treasure to the Business community.
I have completed my business plan on the second day with your template.  And I had tried and failed for a year before.
Dawson

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Keeping negativity out of your life is important. It obstructs your productivity and clear thinking. Stay focused.

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Online video tutorials & training | lynda.com

Online video tutorials & training | lynda.com | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/uLeI


Learn software, creative, and business skills to achieve your personal and professional goals. Join today and start learning.


Read more: http://snip.ly/uLeI




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Discover the site that just got acquired by Linkedin for $1.5 Billion.

Unlimited learning in an amazing number of fields for a small fee. This woman had a great idea, built it out over the years and is now making a great exit. It took a lot of work, but she succeeded.

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How to Get Better at Almost Anything - Inc

How to Get Better at Almost Anything - Inc | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/4f2U

By Sims Wyeth.


And guess what? Talent may not be necessary.

What is it that makes a speaker amazing? Is it a set of personal characteristics that enable great speakers to capture and keep our attention? Is it their brains? Their sense of humor? Their sincerity and empathy? Or were they born with a talent to talk?

We could ask similar questions about golfers, tennis champs, chess masters, or quarterbacks. Why is it that certain people get a disproportionate share of the talent? Science has something to say about this.

In fact, there are some researchers who say, discreetly, that the very existence of talent is not supported by evidence .

If this is true, our belief in this "thing we call talent" misdirects our efforts and undermines our potential to develop ourselves and others.

In fact, some scientists point to a more accurate view of how top performers in any field achieve their remarkable results. They call it Deliberate Practice.

In his book Talent is Overrated, Geoff Colvin lays out the elements of Deliberate Practice (DP).

DP is meant to improve performance.

It is engineered to address particular weaknesses that the performer has. It is almost always designed and implemented by a teacher, coach, or expert of some kind. Read more: http://snip.ly/4f2U



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Hey Dave,
Your BP template help me achieve the goals I've been trying for 5 years. The template led me to produce an effective tool to attract the investors I need.
Thanks
Robert

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The systematic way to focus and create superior results.

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Huge Game Changer For Wearable Technology - Indestructible Batteries

Huge Game Changer For Wearable Technology - Indestructible Batteries | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

ProLogium is a Taiwanese company currently in the field of battery manufacturing that having spent the last 7 years in deep R&D mode, developing, testing have finally released a radically new battery that marries high density output with a flexible ultra thin form like nothing you have seen before.

The product in question is currently known as an FLCB, or FPC (Flexible Printed Circuit) Lithium-Ceramic Battery. FLCB technology is very different from today’s Lithium Polymer batteries that we see in almost every type of device including smartphones and tablets. FLCB breaks the norm in terms of battery appearance, production technique and manufacturing technologies with ProLogium applying for several patents worldwide.

Read more: click on image or title.



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The Growthink group was very easy to work with and took the time to understand our business and needs carefully. I was surprised at how quickly they picked up the nuances of our business and were able to communicate our thoughts into an organized structure that has helped jump start our future plans. 
- Adam Unger, Principal


Via TechinBiz, Richard Platt
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wearables needs solutions like this. Another great advancement.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, March 28, 12:13 AM

As well as being lighter and much more flexible, FLCB-based batteries are also intrinsically safer. FLCB batteries do not catch fire, start to smoke or leak under almost any circumstances including physical, thermal or electrical impact. This is really good news for wearables which by their very nature will be close to the body, opening up several new applications that include today’s wearable technology in clothes, watches, jewellery, headsets and more. The FLCB batteries can be injection inserted or moulded in manufacturing processes that can reach temperatures of up to 2600 Celsius. They also don’t suffer from ‘Salting Out’ issues that plague electrolytic solutions and they can withstand cutting, piercing and even burning.


It’s also important to note that in terms of battery life, ProLogium claim their FLCB technology also provides exceptional energy density, with anywhere up to double that of standard lithium polymer batteries today, so there is no performance hit in terms of mAh figures with FLCBs. The most exciting aspect however, is the fact that an FLCB will continue to function after physical impact or even outright mutilation.


Being based on a printed circuit board, these FLCB batteries can also carry the signal and be joined to together as integral components in the device itself. This means that essentially the battery can be integrated in to the design, becoming part of the device itself, not a single and unwanted appendage that provides power.

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, March 28, 9:31 PM

This could be the breakthrough that clothing manufacturers have been waiting for.  When your wearable technology gets dirty, just wash it and don't worry about the survivability of its power components. You now can be "wired for success."  This is totally "shocking"--pardon the pun.  Aloha, Russ.

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Inventions and innovations that change the world; Curiosity, knowledge, educational articles; learning opportunities...
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Richard Branson Hints At Electric Car From Virgin - Gas 2

Richard Branson Hints At Electric Car From Virgin - Gas 2 | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

How much weight can you place on a few words spoken in an unguarded moment during an informal press interview? If the speaker is billionaire Richard Branson, the answer is, “Quite a lot.”

Branson was in Miami last week to watch his Virgin Racing team compete in the 5th round of the Formula E championship. He happened to be speaking with a reporter from Bloomberg News who asked him what racing in Formula E might lead to. Branson replied with this unscripted, off hand remark (via Bloomberg):

“We have teams of people working on electric cars. So you never know. You may find Virgin competing with the Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business. We will see what happens.”

It’s true that Branson’s Virgin Galactic company is working hard on commercial space flight, as is Elon Musk’s SpaceX corporation. He’s also big into renewable energy these days. It’s not unusual for billionaires to compete fiercely with each other as a way of measuring their power, influence and manhood. Perhaps the irrepressible Branson is miffed that Musk is enjoying so much success in the car business with Tesla and just wants to divert the media attention his way a little bit.

Anything is possible, but one thing is for sure. If Richard Branson wants to jump into the car business, he has the means to do so. He is no stranger to challenges such as being the first man to travel around the world in a helium balloon. If he says “Do it!”, it will be done.

For the present season, Formula E rules do not allow any variations in motors, batteries, inverters. gearboxes or cooling systems. But starting next year, development of motors, inverters and gearboxes will be allowed and the following year, improved batteries will be permitted. So Branson and Virgin Racing will need to have some very talented engineers to remain competitive with the rest of the field. Could those same engineers be put to work on building a passenger car or two?

What do you think?

By Steve Hanley


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With Growthink on your side, you are in a win-win situation. They placed themselves in my situation and analyzed my business as if it were their own business. I could never recommend any firm but Growthink to provide business planning services at this level of quality. 
 Prem K. Kapani, CEO


Via Ecaterina-Adelina Cocora
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Mercedes just announced that it will compete with Tesla with #electriccars, now Branson. Are we getting a breakthrough?

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Why Everyone Should Learn A Second Language

Why Everyone Should Learn A Second Language | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/fgoU


If you're looking to earn more money, live longer, and be happier, then you need to learn a second language, says Kayla Matthews


With more online learning resources available than we know what to do with, there’s really no reason for you to not know a second language.

Being bilingual not only gives you some fun bragging rights, but it also makes you stand out in the increasingly competitive job market.

Learning another language can pave the way for salary increases and open up tons of amazing job opportunities that would be far beyond reach for someone who only knows one language. But it doesn’t stop there. Did you know it can help keep your brain healthy, for longer?

If you’ve ever considered learning a second language, below are just some of the many reasons why you should finally commit to becoming bilingual.

1- Being bilingual earns you more money.Read more: http://snip.ly/fgoU



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"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

As an executive, CEO or business founder you really owe it to yourself and your company to be multi-lingual. This article gives another few good reasons.

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Future of Fabrics Folding into Tech

Future of Fabrics Folding into Tech | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

So you walk into a store and the salesperson takes a 3D scan of your body then uses it to design custom clothing that can be printed especially for you. Sounds like science fiction but this is the future of fashion and it’s unfolding before our eyes.

A new wave of textiles being developed and brought to market create a fashion realm where customization comes standard, environmental inefficiencies are nearly eradicated, and innovative fabrics are available for the masses. To make things appealing on the outside requires the right combination of math, science and technology on the inside.

The namesake of Bradley Rothenberg studio envisions a future where design studios and retail stores create fashion using only 3D printers. For many, Rothenberg is best known for his 3D fashions for the 2013 Victoria’s Secret show.

In addition to tailoring a garment to a person’s exact body type, 3D printers let designers push the materials possibilities beyond fabric.

“We can decide where we want the different textile properties: perhaps see-through in one area and stiff and structured in another,” said Rothenberg, whose studio develops textiles using mathematical algorithms and a range of 3D printing materials.

“For the last 150 years – more or less – textiles have been made in pretty much the same manner. There’s knitting and there’s weaving,” said Rothenberg.

“This industrial process [3D printing] is a new way to think about textiles and fashion,” he said. Read more by clicking on image or title above.




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To Growthink: "Thank you for all of your assistance. You have a lot of integrity, do good work and deal straight up when there are problems. Please feel free to have prospective clients contact me as a reference."
Joan Sugerman
Putts Golf Pro Shot


Via TechinBiz, Deb Bailey
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Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, March 16, 9:40 PM

The day is coming where plug-n chargers for your digital devices will be a thing of the past. Wearable technology makes it possible to keep your mobile devices fully charged by going our for a leisurly stroll and spending some time in the sun at your local park or beach.  Some of these fashions are quite attractive and functional.  This is the fashion wave of the future.  Aloha, Russ.

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How we grew our startup to an early revenue stage

How we grew our startup to an early revenue stage | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/J6Fi 

If you are a very early stage entrepreneur, then the next 10 minutes reading this post will probably save you weeks of time.

Like you, we started out with just a vision in our heads and little experience in running a SaaS business. Most of the time we had little clue of what we needed to do to convert traffic into leads and leads into customers. We got some great ideas from experts in the field, but the amount of knowledge on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can be overwhelming sometimes, especially for early stage startups.

So we did what we like to call as ‘experiments’ on CRO rather than have ‘strategies’. Some of these experiments have worked brilliantly for us and well, some have failed miserably. So we are sharing our learnings with fellow entrepreneurs who are starting out. The idea is to share our experience with young entrepreneurs just like us and to convey the message that it is a good practice to go with your gut instinct and experiment with options.

Read more: http://snip.ly/J6Fi



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"It has been an absolute delight working with you and this will be just a beginning in my relationship with Growthink.
I am very satisfied with my business plan and financial plan. Your work is outstanding."
Michael Mundi
Mundi Homes

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent article on metrics and testing. Read it and save plenty of time later.

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How the Apple Watch could reinvent fashion as we know it

How the Apple Watch could reinvent fashion as we know it | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/Z7xu


The most important thing that the Apple Watch has already tapped into, and has in common with the fashion world, is our imagination.

On one of the coldest days of the year, a smartly dressed woman, defying the elements, stands at one of the last remaining newsstands in Manhattan flipping through the voluminous bible of fashion that is the March issue of Vogue. Amid the pages of waifish models blissfully tossing aside $1,000 scarfs and tableaus of beauty products promising transformative powers she happens upon something completely different: another, mini-magazine, devoted to the Apple Watch.

The message contained therein, all visual, no text, is obvious: The illusion of luxury, of another, better life — one filled with glamour, the right look and the people and places that go along with such trimmings of success — now includes a smartwatch.

It's an old message, aspirational luxury, but one made new by technology playing the starring role. But all stars aren’t created equal. And even the most brilliant sometimes fail to capture the public's imagination.

So now, with companies like Apple, Nike, Under Armour and many others betting billions on the chance that the marriage of technology and fashion might produce a hit, there's a key question that needs answering: Is wearable technology ready? And will the Apple Watch be the catalyst that takes it mainstream? Read more: http://snip.ly/Z7xu




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"No matter how small a company may be, we believe that Growthink’s standard of excellence does not change from one client to the other and we would certainly welcome the opportunity to work with Melissa and her colleagues again."
Shannon Lindsay
Publisher
Southern Beauty Magazine


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Design can make or break your product and company. Apple has proven this very well, successfully. Will the Apple Watch be a success? You bet.

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10 Rules Successful Startups Should Follow

10 Rules Successful Startups Should Follow | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Editor’s note: Carol Broadbent and Tom Hogan are the founders and principals of Crowded Ocean, a Silicon Valley marketing agency that has launched over 35 startups, with 10 of those companies being either acquired or going public.

Having launched over 35 startups in our decade of operation, we’ve been fortunate to be involved with our share of ‘unicorns’ (Palo Alto Networks, Nimble Storage) and really nice white stallions (Sumo Logic, Trifacta and Snowflake Computing). Given the wide range of companies we’ve worked with — and their equally wide range of success/failure — we’re often asked to sum up the characteristics of a successful startup. So here goes.

1. No assholes allowed  

Following in the footsteps of business giants like Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, all startups should adopt a “no assholes” policy to build a stellar team. Here’s a list of companies that have adopted the rule. This is a great group that every startup should strive to join. (If you don’t agree with this rule, you might be the asshole in question.) Read more: click on image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Create your own rules for your startup or small business. It's great to have some guidelines and create a culture for your company. Visualize it, think about it thoroughly, create it. It's your company.

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3 Dirty Little Habits That Will Kill Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

3 Dirty Little Habits That Will Kill Your Entrepreneurial Dreams | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

If it seems like everyone else is succeeding but you -- you might be sabotaging your success with these bad behaviors.

If you look around and see other entrepreneurs who are succeeding where you are not, you may want to look deeper. Sometimes our lives simply don’t progress at the same rate as others.

However, if you’re noticing a trend that your ship never seems to be coming in, you may be guilty of unconsciously engaging in one, or even all, of these three dirty little habits that will hold you back from greatnes.

Do a self-assessment and see if you are practicing any of these destructive behaviors. Read more: click on image or title.





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Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
Aja Noyes
Shift Gear Deliveries


Via StartupYard
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The main obstacle to success is yourself. If you can believe you can do it, you will. Stop putting it off, get started, line up your ideas, make a plan, weigh your options, and get going.

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Chrissie Webber 'Powering Business Potential''s curator insight, April 28, 9:35 AM

1 More Dirty Little Habit id 'Priority Inverting'. By that I mean concentrating on doing very busy work that you have given a high priority to. This is work you love doing but no clients have requested it and no short or medium term sales will be generated from the activity.

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10 Tips Mark Cuban Would Give His Younger Self

10 Tips Mark Cuban Would Give His Younger Self | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
As one of the most well-known sharks on Shark Tank, Mark Cuban didn't get where he is with luck alone. However, just like any other entrepreneur and investor, he had plenty of stumbles along the way. Just imagine how successful Cuban would be had he been able to give his younger self advice.

The next best thing is giving other young entrepreneurs advice. Are you willing to take the advice Cuban has to offer? If so, you can streamline the process and maybe even surpass his success one day. Here are ten tips Cuban would have given to his younger self that you can repurpose for your own goal setting:

1. Tunnel vision

"Stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment," says Cuban. There will always come times when you doubt yourself, but they should be few and far between. Having a bit of tunnel vision can be very helpful to entrepreneurs as long as you're looking down the right tunnel.

2. On preparation

"If you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there." Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of obstacles. Unfortunately, too many people give up too soon. It's the figuring out how to get there that separates entrepreneurs from wantrepreneurs. Read more: click on title or image above.





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"The team at Growthink delivered exceptional quality service in every aspect of their client services. Their staff of professionals were extremely instrumental in fine tuning my creative vision into a well developed business plan."
James E. Spence, Jr, Founder & CEO
At Bread Boutique





Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Experience is a good teacher. Mark Cuban may have a few good things to say. This sounds like pretty good business advice to me.

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21 Things You Need to Know to Validate Your Startup Idea

21 Things You Need to Know to Validate Your Startup Idea | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/17pA

This is from a talk I gave today at Lean Startup Machine (LSM) in Silicon Valley. LSM is a three day workshop for learning customer development and Lean Startup techniques. I founded the workshop series five years ago and it’s been hosted in over one hundred cities around the world.

Make sure you check out #19, which is a key point. Since this post is somewhat of a rant, I’d like to confess I’ve been guilty of not doing almost everything below. I’m sharing this knowledge to help others who are about to walk the same path of entrepreneurship.

Read more: http://snip.ly/17pA




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"The team at Growthink delivered exceptional quality service in every aspect of their client services. Their staff of professionals were extremely instrumental in fine tuning my creative vision into a well developed business plan."
James E. Spence, Jr, Founder & CEO
At Bread Boutique

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Having a great idea is one thing. Testing and validating is the next step. You can't just fantasize on paper and jot down numbers. The idea needs to evolve. Trevor Owens describes the process in a very clear way. This is part of the information that you will put in a business plan, eventually. Highly recommended read.

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Women Entrepreneurs 2.0: What You'll Need to Thrive in a Male-Dominated Startup

Women Entrepreneurs 2.0: What You'll Need to Thrive in a Male-Dominated Startup | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/3IoS


Six traits that will help you surmount the challenges of a diversity-starved workplace.

Women are taking on more roles at startups in the traditionally male-dominated industries of high tech, engineering and bio-technology. Yet we still have a ways to go. According to a recent survey, nearly 40 percent of women with engineering degrees leave the profession or never even enter it. Silicon Valley, despite its recent push to change its own "women problem," has been criticized for still lacking in gender diversity. In most of these companies, males in technical positions outnumber females by more than four to one.

Luckily, for the past couple of years, there has been a groundswell effort to attract more women and bring more balance. Thanks to efforts by big-name technology companies, programs in schools and even games, like GoldieBlox and Roominate, that are geared toward young girls, more women are making a turn to consider high-tech careers as an option.

I myself was fortunate to be raised without certain gender-role beliefs. Growing up, I had a “We Can Do Anything” Barbie game complete with a doctor Barbie and a ballerina Ken doll. I also had female role models in school, including chemistry and calculus teachers who encouraged us girls to pursue math and engineering studies in college. During my own college experience, my field of study was equally balanced between males and females.

So I felt deeply supported in my venture into science and engineering. But since then, I have had to adapt to my (today somewhat less but) still male-dominated industry. Along the way, I've picked up some wisdom about what women need to do to thrive in these diversity-starved startups. Read more here: http://snip.ly/3IoS



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The Growthink team took our thoughts and ideas and transformed them into a well researched, operationally sound, top notch business plan. Most importantly, they kept us involved in the process and challenged us to build a better business model. I have and would recommend Growthink to any business.  
- John Gumersell Jr., Founder, Metroforce

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

An article by a woman for women. Much to learn here, even if you're a man!

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14 Things You Should Give Up Chasing No Matter What Others Say

14 Things You Should Give Up Chasing No Matter What Others Say | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Find out why it's counterproductive to be chasing dreams, security, money, love and ten other surprising things others have told you to go for in life.

Whenever we chase after something, we take ourselves out of the present moment where life actually happens. The future doesn’t exist yet and the past is gone. The only really meaningful place to live is in the now and that’s generally where you’ll find what you’re looking for. Others may say you should be chasing these 14 things to be happy and successful, but take a deeper look and decide for yourself. You may think differently after you read this. Read more: click on title or image.





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I appreciate beyond measure all the information you provide - so many inside tips, w/o which I wouldn't have access to. There is so much to consider, and I've passed this particular email along to others for their respective ideas, and the foundation on which they may be built.
I like the style of presentation, the breadth of information given, and the myriad ways to apply the information. Great stuff - thanks so much!!
TL Elliott


Via Sandra Brevett
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great weekend read. When choosing to build a business, do what you love to do, the money will follow. Don't try to find the business that brings the most money, it's the other way around. Do what comes natural to you.

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5 Ways the Smartest Entrepreneurs Avoid the Perils of Rapid Growth

5 Ways the Smartest Entrepreneurs Avoid the Perils of Rapid Growth | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/gdrX

 It's a common occurrence--a young company rises fast then flames out. Don't let it happen to you.

It's a familiar story. A new company appears on the scene. Its products are highly popular, and soon its facilities, production, and marketing efforts are all growing exponentially. It appears to be an overnight success story--until one day the bottom drops out. Customers complain about poor quality or messed-up orders. Investors complain about falling revenues and non-existent profits. Soon the company is gone altogether, another victim of having grown too fast.

That's pretty much what happened to MJ Gottlieb, serial entrepreneur and author of How to Ruin a Business Without Really Trying. To help keep it from happening to others, he offers some sage advice for young companies faced with too many opportunities:

Read more here: http://snip.ly/gdrX




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Hey Dave,
Your BP template help me achieve the goals I've been trying for 5 years. The template led me to produce an effective tool to attract the investors I need.
Thanks
Robert

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Growing too fast comes with lots of challenges. It's like driving a racecar dowtown a big city. Learn from the story of an entrepreneur who was there. Good advice for any company.

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The 50% Rule for Traction

The 50% Rule for Traction | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/naLT

If you’re starting a company, chances are you can build a product. Almost every failed startup has a product.

What failed startups don’t have are enough customers.

Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape and VC firm Andreessen-Horowitz, sums up this problem:

“The number one reason that we pass on entrepreneurs we’d otherwise like to back is their focusing on product to the exclusion of everything else. Many entrepreneurs who build great products simply don’t have a good distribution strategy. Even worse is when they insist that they don’t need one, or call [their] no distribution strategy a ‘viral marketing strategy.’”

A common story goes like this: founders build something people want by following a sound product development strategy. They spend their time building new features early users say they want.

Then, after months of heads-down product development, they launch, only to become frustrated when customers don’t flock to them.

(This is guest post by Justin Mares, Co-author of Traction. If you build a great product in the forest, it will die too in the forest, unless you also build inroads to your product.
In this post, Justin shares this key lesson for when and how to pursue channel building while running lean.
Enjoy…  Read more:
http://snip.ly/naLT



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"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Develop a product and don't forget the marketing. Start doing it at the same time is the idea of this article. The 50% rule makes a lot of sense.

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Mentors Are The Secret Weapons Of Successful Startups | TechCrunch

Mentors Are The Secret Weapons Of Successful Startups  |  TechCrunch | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/Y1Xg

“I’ve probably revised this investor pitch deck 200 times,” a founder told me recently. She’d met with more than 50 potential investors before closing a seed round last month. This might sound excessive to some, but her experience is not unusual.

Entrepreneurs often spend hundreds of hours raising funds from angel and venture capital investors. While these activities are clearly important, analysis of new data on startups suggests that founders should also dedicate significant time to something that many people overlook: recruiting great mentors. This simple strategy can increase a company’s odds of success more than almost anything else.

Discovering the secrets of the best founders

Our team studied thousands of tech businesses last year. We looked specifically at companies in New York City’s tech sector, which was the fastest-growing tech sector from 2003-2013 and is now the second largest tech hub in the world. The goal of this research was to investigate how local tech firms had become so successful.

Our analysts combined data from CrunchBase, AngelList and LinkedIn, and interviewed nearly 700 founders. (In total, New York tech founders dedicated more than a month of time to this project.) These sources enabled us to create the world’s largest database of a single entrepreneurship community.

We found that a number of characteristics that are often highlighted as predictors of success for startups – such as starting a company while in college – don’t actually make much of a difference. While these conclusions on traditional startup myths were interesting, we uncovered several other intriguing findings by examining the habits of the best firms and founders. Read more here: http://snip.ly/Y1Xg




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With Growthink on your side, you are in a win-win situation. They placed themselves in my situation and analyzed my business as if it were their own business. I could never recommend any firm but Growthink to provide business planning services at this level of quality. 
 Prem K. Kapani, CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Mentors are a major advantage in the start up world. They can lead the way or facilitate specialized aspects of your business. They can open doors, and much more.

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4 Secrets to a Successful Product Launch

4 Secrets to a Successful Product Launch | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/e2OZ

Anyone can put something together and tell people to buy it, but it takes an intentional plan to do a launch right.

Launching a new product can be scary. Actually, it’s always a scary thing to share with the world some brand-new creation. What if people don’t like it? What if nobody buys? There is, however, a simple strategy to make sure none of those fears come true.

As an online business owner and student of successful product launches, I’ve identified four major keys to launching just about anything -- a book, business, or even a blog. Read more: http://snip.ly/e2OZ




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"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Launching a product can be done in many different ways. Maximize the event with these tips. The articles is followed by another one: 6 Steps to a Successful #ProductLaunch. Good information.

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9 Ways To Get Customers (Without Spending Any Money) - #infographic

9 Ways To Get Customers (Without Spending Any Money) - #infographic | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Are you wondering how to get more customers and grow your business without spending a lot of money? Then wonder no more!

Neil Patel of QuickSprout has put together this excellent infographic, filled with 9 tactics that you should be leveraging to acquire more customers.

Blogger and YouTuber outreach:

Reach out to bloggers and give free products in exchange for reviews. Dave Horn from ForWebsiteOwners.com was able to get 1 (normal) month worth of traffic in 2 days using the strategy of building relationships with influencers to share his content.

Reach out to your existing network:

Reach out to friends, family, co-workers, and social media connections and ask if they need your product.

If you provide a service, work for free:

Neil Patel was able to get exposure and generate lots of business through outlets such as TechCrunch and Gawker Media by providing them with free services in exchange for testimonials, PR and backlinks. make sure you provide services to those who can either refer business to you or have a huge network for target clients. See more, click on the infographic.





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"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear


Via malek
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent tactics to make new sales and find new clients, for free.

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4 Steps to Finding a Small Business Lawyer

Every business needs the services of an attorney. Having access to one can help you navigate complex areas like patents, trademarks, copyrights, and contracts. They can also help you choose the best business structure for your company and create employment contracts and nondisclosure agreements, if you need them. Some attorneys specialize in helping small businesses and can be reasonably priced, even for the smallest budget.

Finding a Small Business Lawyer

Start by Identifying What You Need

Beyond identifying the areas you need legal expertise in, you’ll also need to determine what type of lawyer you need. Some can help with general small business tasks, while others specialize in trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Read more, click on title.




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"I am here to thank Dave and all contributors for their passion to assist and guide others along their way. I began receiving your emails some time ago and have just begun to realize that they are responsible for my now beginning to implement the business idea that has been growing in my head for the past 25 years. I now have a clearer picture as to how to begin and proceed. I have had ideas on paper but now I know what steps to take to move forward. My fear has abated (finally!...thank you)"
N Creed


Via Business Credit
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Having an attorney for your small business is money well spent, especially setting up a startup or dealing with innovation.

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