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The 7 Critical Success Factors for a Services Business - Entrepreneur

The 7 Critical Success Factors for a Services Business - Entrepreneur | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The critical success factors for a product business are well known, starting with selling every unit with a gross margin of 50 percent or more, building a patent and other intellectual property, and continuous product improvement. 

If your forte is a service, such as consulting or website design, it’s harder to find guidance on what will get you funded, and how you can scale your business.

On the product side, once you have a proven product and business model, all you need is money to build inventory, and a sales and marketing operation to drive the business. With services, scaling the business often implies cloning yourself, since you are the intellectual property and the competitive advantage. You have no shelf life, so you can’t make money while you sleep.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Via Fred Zimny, Luis Costa
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good information for service businesses. Be unique, value yourself, stand out, look for referrals, offer advice, etc.

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5 Things I Learned About Successful Startups From Steve Jobs

5 Things I Learned About Successful Startups From Steve Jobs | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/oeWK


By Guy Kawasaki on Entrepreneur.com


Former chief evangelist for Apple shares what makes entrepreneurs reach the next level.


No one could have taught you more about starting a company than Steve Jobs, and I had the privilege and honor of working for him in the Macintosh division of Apple.

Over the course of several years, and then watching him for another two decades, these are the five most important things that I learned about startups from him. Read more here: http://snip.ly/oeWK



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Growthink helped me with two business plans. I liked working with Anna Vitale because she was a professional yet personable and that gave me a sense of trust. Keep up the good work.”


Phil Marcu


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

One great man about another one.

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3 Easy Ways to Create an App with No Experience

3 Easy Ways to Create an App with No Experience | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

App development isn’t as hard as it was in the past. Business owners who want to get into the mobile space can make an app and test it too using app-building tools available on the market.

While technical know-how is important to make a killer app, these platforms just help make the job a lot easier for you, increasing the speed of the development process. Most importantly, the platforms can be used to learn app development and come in handy for particular niche app development, even if you are looking to build social media apps.

Here is a look at three tools that can do wonders for you.

Read more: click on the image or title.


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"I love your newsletters! The issues are not only right on time with good insightful information, the trivia questions and Dave's personal input gives the communication a personal touch that I enjoy. Keep up the great work and congrats!"
Nikki Webster
Manga Design Group, LLC


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

More businesses need to create apps to stay competitive. Outsourcing may be a good way but can be expensive. These platforms offer easy ways to do it yourself.

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54 Mistakes of a Startup CEO

54 Mistakes of a Startup CEO | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Here's a running list of my mistakes at CB Insights. They span all facets of building a company – everything from HR to culture to product to sales to operations to admin.

We’re having a pretty great year at CB Insights – revenue is up, the team is growing and we’re executing at a high level.

But things weren’t always good.

We’ve had lean times and made many, many mistakes. Most were the result of things I did (or didn’t do) and I’ve been keeping a list of my screw-ups as a reminder to myself.

With that in mind, and as the new year approaches, I thought I’d share my list more publicly as a reminder to myself and as a public way for the team to keep me honest. For other entrepreneurs, I hope this list is useful, provides a laugh, or lets you see that you’re not the only one.

As you’ll see, my screw-ups span all facets of building a company – everything from HR to culture to product to sales to operations to admin. I am what you might call “multi-talented.”

So here they are in no particular order, bucketed by category.  You’ll notice that some of these screw-ups sorta contradict each other. Yup – building a company is messy. Read more: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/startup-ceo-screwups/





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Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels


Via ukituki, Business Credit
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

And mistakes we'll make. This CEO kept track of them and made a great list. Good stuff to learn from and shorten the learning curve.

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An 11-Step Plan for Launching Your Startup

An 11-Step Plan for Launching Your Startup | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Disclaimer: the headline on this article promises you 11 steps to launch a startup. It does not promise you 11 easy steps or 11 simple steps or 11 anyone-could-do-it-before-breakfast-without-breaking-a-sweat steps.

Launching a startup is difficult—there's no way around that.

In the best of markets, 75% of venture-backed firms fail to deliver returns on their investments, according to 2012 research from Harvard Senior Lecturer Shikhar Ghosh.

Today, VC firms are debating whether that grim statistic might be exacerbated by a forthcoming tech bubble. Nevertheless, many entrepreneurs decide to launch companies every year.

If you're determined to join their ranks, here's what you need to know about how to launch your business so it lasts.


by Melissa Cohen


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"Our work with Growthink was very helpful for creating a business plan to focus our efforts in the short term and increase our value over the long term."
Jack Bergstrand, CEO
Brand Velocity, Inc.





Via Ivo Nový
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It takes some good planning to create a start up. Don't underestimate. Creating a business plan may help to uncover flaws or import aspects that may have been overlooked.

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Who Needs an Office? How to Go 100 Percent Remote.

Who Needs an Office? How to Go 100 Percent Remote. | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/2cmT

Having a team work remotely can save lots of money and allow you to unleash creativity, huge amounts of work and an incredible amount of power.

More and more companies are going 100 percent remote. The remote trend is especially widespread in the startup community. When cash and resources are low, you do what you can, and going remote is one of the smartest moves you can make.

It was just about a year ago that FlexJobs declared, “2014 is THE year to find remote jobs.” Of course, big companies like Xerox and Apple allow remote work, but it’s the startup environment that has really embraced remote work situations. Entrepreneurs are realizing that it doesn’t matter where an employee is, as long as he or she can communicate with the team and get work done.

If you’re curious about how to make your business go remote, here are your answers.

Read more: http://snip.ly/2cmT


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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:

Working remote is the future. Best solution for yourself, and a great solution for many people in your company. Check it out. Neil has some great tips and obviously speaks from experience.

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How the 'Internet of Everyday Things' could turn any product into a service | VentureBeat | Gadgets | by Lawrence Lee, PARC

How the 'Internet of Everyday Things' could turn any product into a service | VentureBeat | Gadgets | by Lawrence Lee, PARC | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
http://snip.ly/w89U

Disposable sensors on products like cleaning supplies could soon enable brands to sell outcomes -- such as clean clothes or a clean house.

Imagine a near future where there will be a wireless sensor on the bottom of every shampoo, detergent, and medication container. It will tell you how much product is left and trigger a replacement order once it gets to 10% full or approaches its expiration date.

Now imagine a future laundry detergent dispenser that is connected wirelessly to sensors in the washing machine and can mix multiple channels of active ingredients dynamically to suit the conditions of the wash and optimize the cleaning process.

This type of intelligent, personalized experience is not possible today, but it will be commonplace in the “Internet of Everyday Things” in which low-cost, even disposable products will have digital capabilities through low cost sensors and connectivity

New Product Experiences

With the Internet of Everyday Things, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies will for the very first time have visibility into how their customers are using their products in the home, and even more importantly, they’ll have the power to change the product experience in real-time to suit the specific user and environment. That’s really game changing for an industry that continuously worries about how to differentiate products and protect margins.

http://snip.ly/w89U



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Evolution of 'Internet-of-Things', Big Data and client services explained by a researcher. Interesting, however, I think I prefer to keep an eye on when my laundry detergent will be finished myselfd.

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The Uberpreneur: How An Uber Driver Makes $252,000 A Year

The Uberpreneur: How An Uber Driver Makes $252,000 A Year | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
It hit me: I’m not in Gavin’s car. I’m in his mobile showroom. He’s not just an Uber driver. Nor is he just an entrepreneur. He’s an Uberpreneur, using the ridesharing app to promote his jewelry business.

“It’s a genius way to start a business nowadays, especially because nobody’s doing it.”

The man sitting beside me is sharing the most insightful business advice I’ve heard lately. His ideas are as unconventional as the location of our conversation. We’re not in a coffee shop or a corner office. We’re in an Uber and he’s my driver.

His name is Gavin Escolar, a charismatic Filipino man with a laugh that’s even louder than his orange-and-red striped dress shirt. We’re cruising down Valencia street when I notice diamond earrings dangling on the dashboard. Around his wrist, an emerald bracelet gleams through the sunlight. In the seat pockets, glossy catalogs display more jewelry. The cover reads: Gavin Escolar’s 2014 Collection.

Then it hits me: I’m not in Gavin’s car. I’m in his mobile showroom. He’s not just an Uber driver. Nor is he just an entrepreneur. He’s an Uberpreneur, using the ridesharing app to promote his jewelry business.
Read more here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonyoushaei/2015/02/04/the-uberpreneur-how-an-uber-driver-makes-252000-a-year/



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Hey Dave!
I bought one of your business planning templates and have been receiving your emails and videos for a few months now...
I just wanted to say thanks for cranking out such amazing work!
You're doing an incredible job, and I know entrepreneurs everywhere are benefiting from it! Please, keep it up.
Wishing you all the best!"
Colin Pape
President
ShopCity.com, Inc.



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great entrepreneurship. Uber is creating more and more opportunities and change for entrepreneurs.

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10 Ways the Next 10 Years Are Going To Be Mind-Blowing | High Existence

10 Ways the Next 10 Years Are Going To Be Mind-Blowing | High Existence | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

We are living in an extremely exciting time in terms of science and technology. Things that have always been considered science fiction are becoming normal day-to-day components of our lives. And while we have been seeing invention after breakthrough over and over in the last couple of decades, this next ten years is going to blow everything else out of the water.

The awesome thing about all these scientific discoveries it that they create technology that allows us to make more breakthroughs even faster. Our ability to innovate is increasing exponentially as the years go by. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this reality, here are 10 amazing innovations to different sectors of life. They should give you a pretty good idea of what changes will be made by 2020. Read more: click title or image.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels


Via TechinBiz, ventureLAB
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wow, take a look, amazing stuff in so many different fields.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, February 3, 6:25 PM

Check out #6 on 'Energy'. Solar is in for a revolution.

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Paul Graham's Startup Survival Rules 

Paul Graham's Startup Survival Rules  | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Based on Y Combinator's cofounder Paul Graham's "Startups in 13 Sentences" we shared startup survival tips for startups

When things get difficult, sometimes you have to whip out the old survival guide to make sure your startup gets through a challenging phase in your business. That’s why we are sharing this guide with entrepreneurs, based on Y Combinator’s cofounder Paul Graham‘s “Startups in 13 Sentences“.  He shared 13 tips you every entrepreneur should live by:

Pick Good Cofounders

Sometimes the problem lives within. Finding a good cofounder is not always easy, and just like finding a partner in love, finding the right business partner takes time. Graham says that, “the success of a startup is almost always a function of its founders,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Launch Fast

You don’t really know what your customers want until you launch. Launch before you get used to not being useful.

Let Your Idea Evolve

Many successful startups changed their ideas fundamentally. Pivoting is part of your startup growth, and sometimes you just have to let that initial idea go.

Click image or title to read more...


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels


Via StartupYard
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Live by simple rules, Paul Graham understands that.

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Google’s Eric Schmidt has a 10-year prediction of how tech will disrupt whole industries - VentureBeat

Google’s Eric Schmidt has a 10-year prediction of how tech will disrupt whole industries - VentureBeat | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/0OPK

In conversation with Khan Academy founder and amateur baritone, Sal Khan, Google chairman Eric Schmidt predicted how technology will change whole industries over the next 10 years. The path to tech riches, he predicts, will be startups that use existing online tools to unseat incumbents.

For example, Uber (which Google invests in) utilized Google maps to pinpoint car drivers. Khan Academy, another Google-funded organization, got its start putting up YouTube lessons online for free.

“I have consistently, in my career, underestimated the scale of the disruption and the scale of the positive impact of the use of software to redo systems,” he argued. “We’re at a point now where the combinatorial innovation, the ability to mix and match things together, is going to produce a very large number of new things that are very useful that other people will fight about.”

In other words, unlike Facebook, which built out an entirely new platform, the next big company, like Uber and Khan Academy, may simply build off other free products.

Additionally, the coauthor of Schmidt’s book and former Google SVP, Jonathan Rosenberg, predicted that the sharing economy was going to take off, since “every other person in the world can now reach every other person in the world.”

There’s an enormous amount of underutilized resources in society. “Everyone knows what everyone else has, and it becomes very seamless to buy and sell,” he concluded.

Certainly two of the fastest growing companies in tech, Uber and Airbnb, have taken full advantage of these resources. And Airbnb was partly based on free mapping tools.

The whole conversation between Rosenberg, Schmidt and Khan is great. Readers can watch it below:

http://snip.ly/0OPK



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Hey Dave!
I bought one of your business planning templates and have been receiving your emails and videos for a few months now...
I just wanted to say thanks for cranking out such amazing work!
You're doing an incredible job, and I know entrepreneurs everywhere are benefiting from it! Please, keep it up.
Wishing you all the best!"
Colin Pape
President
ShopCity.com, Inc.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Disruption is the name of the game. All aspects of our society will have their turn. I see the banking industry and financial services follow too.

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9 Easy-To-Steal Habits Of The Super Successful

9 Easy-To-Steal Habits Of The Super Successful | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Wouldn't it be great if success was simple?

But it isn't.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer for success in work and life, but we will do our best to steer you in the right direction.

Here's a list of helpful habits of some highly successful—and wildly productive—people to get your started.

Read more here: http://www.fastcompany.com/3014736/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/9-easy-to-steal-habits-of-the-super-successful


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink helped me with two business plans. I liked working with Anna Vitale because she was a professional yet personable and that gave me a sense of trust. Keep up the good work.”


Phil Marcu


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The ups and downs of working in a tech incubator

The ups and downs of working in a tech incubator | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Michael Rainsford discusses how his start-up company developed in a shared office space, and reveals the benefits and downsides of such a setup for an early-stage company. 

When my company StuRents.com went full-time back in June 2014 we were looking for the perfect environment in which to grow our semi-established start-up, and when we stumbled across the newly-established Google Campus near London’s Old Street, we also stumbled across the idea of the ‘tech incubator’ (essentially an office space housing tech start-ups). We liked it and we applied for a few desk spaces, which we were subsequently offered at a relatively cheap price.

It seemed like the perfect setup for us and six months later we graduated to a different incubator within the city. But those six months at Campus had been good for us. Growing in an incubator we found to definitely have its upsides.

Firstly, most incubators are cheap. Most tech incubators (as with any place providing facilities for start-ups) are likely to offer cheap rental rates. But compared with other venues offering facilities for fledgling businesses, Google Campus offered all inclusive rates, mentoring and access to the heart of Tech City. These fringe benefits are often, in the cases of incubators, the main benefits, when all you are actually using the building for is working – with no time or inclination for creature comforts.

Many incubators also seek to keep themselves at capacity by offering flexible workspace with pay-as-you-go style pricing. At Campus these spaces were remarkably cheap; arguably too cheap. Given the limited number of spaces available, for every developer on Flex membership paying a little over £100 per annum there were tens of eager entrepreneurs (who would have contributed much to the culture and atmosphere) waiting in line for a spare desk.

Read more: http://snip.ly/OOG4


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"I recommend that all professionals, entrepreneurs, and students of business tune in to Dave Lavinsky.
 

Sincerely,"
John Meria, Ph.D.



Via Zonata
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Incubators and accelerators are great places to launch your startup. You learn, meet others, have mentors available, and get a ton of experience. If you get the chance, go for it. They are popping up everywhere, not just in the big cities.

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The smart creative: How to spot them, how to use them

The smart creative: How to spot them, how to use them | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The term “smart creative” is often heard today in the hallways and conference rooms of some of the nation’s leading tech companies.

Not surprising, since it was coined by Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman. But the concept is not necessarily unique to Google, or even to the tech world.

Smart creatives (SCs) can be found almost anywhere, from the corner coffeehouse to the corner office.

  • How can you tell if you are a smart creative?
  • How can you spot a smart creative?
  • How can you maximize smart creatives’ potential in your organization?

Here are four key characteristics to look for:

Read more, click on the image or title.



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"I have been receiving "Growing Your Empire" newsletter for about a year, and I appreciate the advice that you have been sharing on entrepreneurship - I have leveraged the information you've provided many times."
Alex Stolyar



Via Ken Cooper
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Are you a smart creative? If you are, you'll be looking to add on the skills and experience you need to become one.

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Six Reasons Why VCs Reject Good Startups - Entrepreneur

Six Reasons Why VCs Reject Good Startups - Entrepreneur | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
The factors that affects why venture capitalists often decline to work with startups.

In one sense, successful entrepreneurs seem to say “no” more than the average person. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, gave this advice to entrepreneurs on HuffPost Live: “The temptation all over the place... is to do more. The brutal reality of trade-offs is you cannot.” He urged entrepreneurs to “narrow their focus.” Entrepreneurs tend to have a vision and must avoid all distractions in order to achieve it. Someone who says “yes” to many things is probably saying “no” to more important things. In another sense, entrepreneurs often hear many “no’s” along the path to success. Young Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went on to build a creative media empire. Steve Jobs was fired from his own organization and returned to build Apple- turning it into one of the world’s most valuable companies. Oprah Winfrey lost her job as a reporter because she was “unfit for TV.” These three visionaries have all probably looked back on their “no’s” and said something to the effect of “Suckas!” Despite your own familiarity with the word “no”, rejection still hurts. As a venture capitalist, I have to say “no” to a lot of good startups and founders. It’s just the nature of the game- a firm can only invest in so many companies. In order to prime your expectations, and hopefully lessen the blow, here are the six main reasons why venture capitalists often decline to work with good startups. Read more: click on title or image.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"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





Via ventureLAB
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 6 most common reasons why VC's reject your startup.

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Survive the Leap to Hyper-Growth with This Advice from Steve Blank - First Round Review

http://snip.ly/0fEt


Most startups die right before they enter hyper-growth. Steve Blank shares his perspectives on how companies can cross the chasm.

This article is by Steve Blank, entrepreneur, author and one of the founders of the Lean Startup movement.

Recently, I got a call from Patrick, an ex-student I hadn’t heard from for 8 years. He's now the CEO of a company and wanted to talk about what he admitted was a “first world” problem. Over breakfast he got me up to date on his life since school (two non-CEO roles at startups), but he wanted to talk about his third startup —the one he and two other co-founders had most recently started.

“We’re at 70 people, and we’ll do $40 million in revenue this year and should get to cash flow breakeven this quarter,” he said. It sounded like he was living the dream. I was trying to figure out why we were meeting. But then he told me all about the tough decisions, the pivots and firing his best friend, which he had to do to get to where he was. In short, he had been through heck and back.

“I made it this far,” he said. "My board bet on me to take it to scale. I’m going to double my headcount in the next 3 quarters. The problem is where’s the playbook? There were plenty of books for what to do as a startup, and lots of advice for what to do if I was running a large public company, but there’s nothing that describes how to deal with the issues of growing a company. I feel like I’m just driving without a roadmap. What should I be reading or doing?”

I explained to Patrick that startups go through a series of steps before they become a large company, and that he was smack in the middle of two big ones. Read more: http://snip.ly/0fEt



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"Our work with Growthink was very helpful for creating a business plan to focus our efforts in the short term and increase our value over the long term."
Jack Bergstrand, CEO
Brand Velocity, Inc.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

After dealing with the hurdles of birthing a startup comes the real deal: building a great company, dealing with growth, HR, corporate structures, etc. This article gives some sources of information and ideas on how to move to the next phase.

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This guy used an insane get-rich-quick scheme to become a start-up millionaire in three weeks -- Fusion

This guy used an insane get-rich-quick scheme to become a start-up millionaire in three weeks -- Fusion | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/2H7M


By Kevin Roose

Tech start-ups mint new millionaires every day. Many of these people are young Stanford and MIT graduates who live in Silicon Valley and spend years building their companies while subsisting on ramen noodles and Red Bull. Typically, they’re not funeral industry workers from Central Pennsylvania who spend three weeks learning to game referral competitions.

But there’s a first time for everything.

First, some background. There’s a new tech start-up called Jet.com. Maybe you saw it on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek. It’s a membership-only online shopping club, similar to Costco, that says it will be able to charge between 10 and 15 percent less than other e-commerce sites by, essentially, cutting its margins to nothing. Jet hasn’t launched to the public yet. But it’s already one of the most-hyped start-ups of the year. It’s raised a staggering amount of money—more than $200 million, at a valuation said to be close to $600 million—and when it does debut (“very soon,” according to the company’s placeholder site), members will sign up to pay $49.99 a year for the privilege of shopping there, and Jet will make some of those millions back. Or it won’t.

The specifics of Jet’s business model aren’t important, for our purposes. What’s important is that, in the run-up to its launch, Jet ran a contest to try to get more people signed up for its “Insider” program, which entitled them to a free 6-month trial of the site and other perks. To stoke interest in the contest, the company offered 100,000 shares of Jet stock to the person who could sign up the most new Insiders, and 10,000 shares to the nine people with the next-highest numbers of sign-ups. (The company didn’t indicate how much 100,000 shares was, relative to its total number of shares, but one person familiar with Jet’s finances said that the winner’s stock could be worth between $10 million and $20 million if everything goes according to plan.)

$10 million to $20 million! For winning an online popularity contest! And that eye-popping opportunity is where Eric Martin comes in.

Read the whole story here: http://snip.ly/2H7M




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The power of internet reach is incredible. Some people know how to take advantage of it. The article also shows how startups with new and fresh ideas are threats to giants in the industry.

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18 Unusual Habits That Boost Your Energy More Than Coffee

18 Unusual Habits That Boost Your Energy More Than Coffee | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/lIWd

To understand unique and healthy ways to consistently and quickly boost energy daily, I asked dynamic entrepreneurs to spill their best-kept secrets.


"Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death.”

These words from Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla, describe a mentality many founders can relate to as they go through the day-to-day grind of running a startup. Like Musk, entrepreneurs face huge ups and downs every single day, sometimes in the same moment. Having energy to confront those challenges is the essential ingredient to success.

To understand unique and healthy ways to consistently and quickly boost energy daily, I interviewed the country’s top ambitious young entrepreneurs, honorees of the Empact Showcase, who work tirelessly, day and night, to turn their visions into reality. Their responses will surprise you! Each response includes links to research and resources so you can incorporate the habit into your life if it’s right for you.

  Read more: http://snip.ly/lIWd



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Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

I never drink coffee, I get too wired. I use several of the ideas described here, some adapted to what I know and who I am. Doing such things is very important to keep yourself going in a balanced way, it helps with the stress of 'living on the edge' while being an entrepreneur and stretching yourself too much - until you snap! Very important.

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10 Tools for Smoothing the Startup Process

10 Tools for Smoothing the Startup Process | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/3rO3

From legal to branding, there is a long check list of basics for starting up but affordable tools are available every step of the way.

Getting your startup idea out of the gates can be tough and intimidating. The first steps, however, are actually much easier and more affordable than many entrepreneurs believe, especially with the slew of useful tools available online.

Here are 10 free or very affordable, and easy-to-use tools to help you take action and get started. Read more: http://snip.ly/3rO3


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"Our work with Growthink was very helpful for creating a business plan to focus our efforts in the short term and increase our value over the long term."
Jack Bergstrand, CEO
Brand Velocity, Inc.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Basic information to get you started right. Great for small businesses.

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6 Timeless Strategies to Drive Entrepreneurship Success

6 Timeless Strategies to Drive Entrepreneurship Success | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/HbNQ

Adhere to these key principles to build a high-growth company amid changing circumstances.

In today’s ever changing business climate, an entrepreneur can easily become overwhelmed. It’s vital, though, to stay focused on your goals for the company.  

Even with a firm strategy in place, every entrepreneur should do these six things to clear a path to success:

http://snip.ly/HbNQ




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Growthink helped me with two business plans. I liked working with Anna Vitale because she was a professional yet personable and that gave me a sense of trust. Keep up the good work.”


Phil Marcu

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The Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2015

The Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2015 | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/pkTO

These eight sectors are hotbeds of opportunity for entrepreneurs with the foresight and motivation to take advantage.

The old adage that timing is everything in business is incomplete. When it comes to launching a successful startup, the other crucial ingredient is identifying a new, untapped market opportunity. Breaking into any industry is hard, but certain sectors are particularly ripe for new entrants.

Inc.’s annual look at the best industries for starting a business is based on interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and industry experts, plus reams of the latest research on hot niche sectors. While it’s still early days for most of these fields, the first-movers are already well on their way to proving long-term viability. Read on to see where entrepreneurs are laying the groundwork for the fast-growing companies of the future.

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


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The world changes rapidly and technologies disrupt just about everything we know. Business opportunities arise in many industries, here are some very interesting ones.

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I spotted an Apple Watch on the train this morning, and now I'm a believer | VentureBeat | Gadgets | by Mark Sullivan

I spotted an Apple Watch on the train this morning, and now I'm a believer | VentureBeat | Gadgets | by Mark Sullivan | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
http://snip.ly/rBYH

The watch has the effect that other blockbuster Apple products have had on casual observers. When you see it, something somewhere in the corner of your mind clicks on, and then you realize you want one.


The man to whom I gave a gentle push so that I might fit inside the crowded commuter train this morning was wearing an Apple Watch.

As the train stopped in a tunnel, the man apparently received a reminder on his wrist, and when he raised his wrist I got a clear view. No, it wasn’t one of the knockoffs they were selling at CES. This thing looked like a luxury item, and it had the now familiar “bubbles” Watch user interface.

I saw a text reminder on the screen, and then, briefly, a map. It appeared that the guy had been using the Watch for some time and was pretty used to it. The product is supposed to go on sale in April, but Apple gave Watches to a number of its employees to gather feedback and fix bugs. Read more here: http://snip.ly/rBYH




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"Thanks for your note....KEEP THE ADVICE COMING!



I studied the Truth About Funding program (video)...and it really helped me focus on the steps we need to take to move and expand our business into LA."



J. Mack

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Apple has the edge combining design and finding ways to deliver what people want.

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7 Key Steps to a Growth Strategy That Works Immediately

7 Key Steps to a Growth Strategy That Works Immediately | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/b86z

If you don't have a tangible plan, you're actually losing business -- or you're increasing the chance of losing business to competitors.

If only half of startups survive more than five years and only one-third make it to 10, what’s the one thing you could do to ensure your company is sustainable? The answer is to create a growth strategy for your business, of course.

A growth strategy involves more than simply envisioning long-term success. If you don’t have a tangible plan, you’re actually losing business -- or you’re increasing the chance of losing business to competitors.

The key with any growth strategy is to be deliberate. Figure out the rate-limiting step in your growth, and pour as much fuel on the fire as possible. But for this to be beneficial, you need to take the following steps: Read more here: http://snip.ly/b86z



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"I have been receiving "Growing Your Empire" newsletter for about a year, and I appreciate the advice that you have been sharing on entrepreneurship - I have leveraged the information you've provided many times."
Alex Stolyar

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A good growth strategy is absolutely necessary for building a new business or startup.

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Start-ups Should Sell to Small Businesses, Not Big Enterprises - Harvard Business Review

http://snip.ly/ICH2

By Thomas Bartman


Business-to-business start-ups are an important segment of the entrepreneurial landscape, but many founders hamstring themselves by focusing on the wrong initial customers. They focus on large enterprises, hoping to gain legitimacy from “anchor” customers. This focus can make their path much more difficult, and dramatically reduce their chance of success. Instead, B2B entrepreneurs should focus their efforts on small businesses.

The traditional line against targeting small businesses is that they’re costly to sell to. That’s short-sighted. Selling to small businesses is a great way to start a business, and often sets the stage for selling to larger enterprises later on. In this way, the start-up that initially served only small businesses can disrupt incumbents and come to dominate the large enterprise market, too.

Several examples of this strategy have emerged over the past few years:

  • Salesforce disrupted expensive on-site customer databases by offering a cloud-based solution that replaced substantial up-front expense with a low monthly subscription.
  • Vistaprint disrupted local printing shops by offering web-based design and ordering and centralized production, using economies of scale to dramatically reduce costs.
  • Stamps.com disrupted traditional mail-processing companies like Pitney Bowes by replacing expensive equipment purchases with an online application and monthly subscriptions.

The pattern continues today with start-ups that are in the early phases of this journey:

  • Expensify is in the process of disrupting administrative assistants and office managers with an app-based expense reporting product.
  • HourlyNerd (which was founded by members of my MBA class at Harvard Business School) is disrupting the consulting industry by connecting businesses with independent consultants.

To understand how small business solutions can disrupt large enterprises, I studied HourlyNerd and share here the lessons entrepreneurs can use to create disruptive B2B businesses by starting with small customers. To read the rest of this very interesting article, click on http://snip.ly/ICH2


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Well written and highly recommended article for any startup of small business.

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What Is a Business Model? - HBR

What Is a Business Model? - HBR | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/NJnr

A history, from Drucker to Christensen.

...Introducing a better business model into an existing market is the definition of a disruptive innovation. To help strategists understand how that works Clay Christensen presented a particular take on the matter in “In Reinventing Your Business Model” designed to make it easier to work out how a new entrant’s business model might disrupt yours. This approach begins by focusing on the customer value proposition — what Christensen calls the customer’s “job-to-be-done.” It then identifies those aspects of the profit formula, the processes, and the resources that make the rival offering not only better, but harder to copy or respond to —  a different distribution system, perhaps (the iTunes store); or faster inventory turns (Kmart);  or maybe a different manufacturing approach (steel minimills)...

To read the whole article and see a summary of business models click here:

http://snip.ly/NJnr



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent article and overview of many business models. Must read for any entrepreneur and business developer.

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Ian Harris's curator insight, February 8, 7:50 PM

A good refresher on exactly what a business model is and how they have developed.

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Distracted? 11 Hacks That Will Help You Focus. (Infographic)

Distracted? 11 Hacks That Will Help You Focus. (Infographic) | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

These easy tips will help you zero in on the task at hand -- so pay attention!

Just because you’re not doing work right now doesn’t mean there’s no work to be done. I’ll bet you’re just about to get started on that work right after you read this. Well… you do have to return that phone call first, but then you’ll do work. Oh wait… but isn’t it someone’s birthday today? You’ll just check Facebook and make sure you’re not being so incredibly rude by not wishing your friend (read: that acquaintance that you very rarely talk to) a happy birthday. It’ll only take three minutes and then, you swear, you’ll take care of work.

Sound familiar? If procrastination and a lack of focus are problems for you, check out the infographic below by Anna Vital, information designer at Funders and Founders. These 11 tricks to help you get your focus on, if you can pay attention long enough to remember them. Some Cliff’s notes: Classical music and pets are helpful, a cluttered desk and an uncomfortable chair are not.

Check out the rest of the advice and get to work.

See the infographic here.



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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 Oliver Durrer
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good tips to get focused.

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