Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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If Plan A Fails, Remember that You Have 25 Letters Left : The Art of Non-Conformity

If Plan A Fails, Remember that You Have 25 Letters Left : The Art of Non-Conformity | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work, and Travel

*My brand-new book, Born for This, is all about helping you find the work you were meant to do. This series explores some of these lessons.

Lesson: Craft backup plans. They will allow you to take more risks and make better choices.

There’s no shame in having a plan B, or even plans C–Z. Use the “if this, then that” method to make a backup plan for every career choice, and then make a backup for the backup. If one strategy doesn’t work, move to the next. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Sandra Brevett
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Creating creative #strategies is the pathway to #success.

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My 9 rules for building viable startups: Advice from a startup studio

My 9 rules for building viable startups: Advice from a startup studio | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Startup studios are a relatively new type of business.

You might have heard of them before as “venture builders” or “startup factories.” There are only a dozen or so of them in the world, including the original one, IdeaLab, and others likeExpa and BetaWorks. But I believe we’ll see more and more of them in the future because the model works.

The people behind these organizations are seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and makers. They don’t get pitches, there is no Demo Day, and they don’t make investments in external companies. For the most part, ideas are in-house, built from scratch to validate a business idea and spin it off as an independent startup, with the studio retaining a portion of the equity. Read more: click image or title.

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#startup studios or #accelerators help startups to evolve and get #seedfunding.

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5 Secret Weapons for Outbound Sales

5 Secret Weapons for Outbound Sales | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Outbound sales teams initiate contact with customers and increase the chances of successfully closing the deal.

If your business relies on outbound sales to generate new customers and keep cash flow going, you likely already know the challenges your teams face. Inbound sales teams merely react to those who contact them, providing information and answering questions. Those customers have enough of an interest to have reached out, increasing the chances that the call will lead to a conversion. Read more: click image or title.

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great tools to help with #outbound #sales campaigns.

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Companies are bought, not sold | AlphaGamma

Companies are bought, not sold | AlphaGamma | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

By now this nugget of startup wisdom should be well known: Companies are bought, not sold. And yet many entrepreneurs sadly don’t seem to act accordingly (and Silicon Valley, in all its glory, doesn’t foster good behavior as well). Let me explain: When you build a company which builds product users want and pay for, Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Create good companies that make #profits and that #grow.

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Startup Success: Why Everything Must Work Out In Your Favor - Techstars

Startup Success: Why Everything Must Work Out In Your Favor - Techstars | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Last week I talked to a young, first time founder. Before we even talked about Techstars, he said, “You know what, we have raised a little bit of cash, we have a good advisor, we are probably okay, we don’t need an accelerator.”

You cannot imagine how much I cringe when I hear that kind of statement.

It is very difficult for me to convey to first time founders what lies ahead of them. Indeed, if they knew, they wouldn’t do it. “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

 


Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Every aspect of your #startup must be world-class, says this Techstars director. #Founders need to realize what they are up against. From the TechStars blog.

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Prototyping Just Went to the Next Level With Framer

Prototyping Just Went to the Next Level With Framer | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The latest version of Framer brings closure (well, that’s my opinion anyway) to the ‘should designers code’ argument. Never has there been a greater opportunity, as a visual designer, to get your hands dirty with code.

With this version, the awesome folks behind Framer have married the relationship between design and code perfectly. If you’re a seasoned user and want to stick to the original format of Framer, and hand-code all your interactions? Go for it. If you’re coming from a more design-orientated background and prefer to use the application from a more visual standpoint, do it that way. Want to walk a line between the two? Framer is going to make you very happy indeed.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to take a couple of screens from Sketch, and then import them into the latest version of Framer, with some handy little tips along the way. This is a perfect introduction to Framer for all newcomers. Hopefully, you’ll come out the other end of this tutorial with more of a ‘this Framer Tool ain’t that scary no more’ attitude. Well that’s the plan anyway. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more: www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


Via THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*
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The perfect match for #designers dealing with #code.

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What Are The Five Main Markets of IoT?

What Are The Five Main Markets of IoT? | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
In a new publication, Bain & Company cut the IoT pie into five slices, which it calls the “major emerging battlegrounds” that will define the industry.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating at an impressive speed, forecasters predict 25 billion devices will be online by 2020, creating over $300 billion in opportunities for companies involved.

Even with this considerable growth coming in the next five years, most enterprise folks still don’t understand or aren’t invested in the IoT revolution. Management consulting firm Bain & Company believe that’s due to misrepresentation on the definition of IoT.

Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The integration of #devices and the unlimited scope of applications is growing exponentially. #IoT is happening...

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The Most Important Question for Any Entrepreneur, Period.

The Most Important Question for Any Entrepreneur, Period. | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
The secret to success for four highly motivated people comes down to what makes them move forward.

What would you do if your back gave out -- after 100 miles of nonstop running?

What would you do if you were in a tent in the most remote part of theHebrides, swallowing gnats when you were breathing?

What would you do if you were so injured that you had to re-learn how to walk?

What would you do if you were held hostage for 92 hours, hung upside down and whipped until you bled?

What would keep you moving forward?  Read more: click image or title

 

 

Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more: www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How do you push yourself beyond your own #limits?

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6 Secrets of Radical Productivity, From an Entrepreneur Who Runs 4 Businesses

6 Secrets of Radical Productivity, From an Entrepreneur Who Runs 4 Businesses | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Emergency confetti is more important than you might think.

 

Tina Roth Eisenberg, a Swiss-born designer also known as Swiss Miss, runs four businesses with just 17 employees. And they're not small businesses. The one for which she is probably best-known, an event series called CreativeMornings, hosts monthly events in 100 cities. Tattly, another of her companies, makes temporary tattoos that have been sold by the Tate Modern. Her to-do list app, TeuxDeux, has fans such as Seth Godin and the blog Design Milk. And oh, she runs a co-working space in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill neighborhood, called Friends. (An earlier version of this story said that Eisenberg had five employees. She clarified that CreativeMornings has five employees.)

How does she do it? At a breakfast hosted by podcast series Broadmic and co-working space LMHQ earlier this month, Eisenberg spoke with early-stage investor and startup advisor Kelly Hoey about her journey as an entrepreneur. Depending on your perspective, Eisenberg's keys to success are going to warm your heart or make your eyes roll: Fun. Love. Trust. And, of course, emergency confetti.

Here are a few of the maxims that Eisenberg says she, and her businesses, live by.  Read more: click image or title.

 

 Find or list funding opportunities:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

 

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

First rule: No complaining. Either fix it or let it go!

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John Hoffmire: The wealthiest 1,000: How they made their money and why can't we do the same?

John Hoffmire: The wealthiest 1,000: How they made their money and why can't we do the same? | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

How did these people get to be so wealthy? It is clear that there was a huge amount of hard work, discipline, clear goals, ambition and guts. But is that enough to get into the billion-dollar club?

So, how did these people get to be so wealthy? It is clear that there was a huge amount of hard work, discipline, clear goals, ambition and guts. But is that enough to get into the billion-dollar club? You probably know many people with these traits yet they are nowhere near to becoming billionaires. One common trait, though, is that almost all owned and then sold stock in their own company or one of their relatives did. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

 Find or list funding opportunities:

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Via Enzo Calamo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What is the reason for this super wealth and how can you offer your company employees a similar advantage?

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7 tricks to keep a stressful job from taking over your life

7 tricks to keep a stressful job from taking over your life | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Holding down a demanding job these days can sometimes make you feel like your back is against the wall.

But when that feeling follows you home and makes you want to punch the wall, that’s a problem.

Work stress has invaded your downtime, threatening to mess with your personal life so you never score that breather everyone needs from the 9-to-5 pressure cooker.

Science backs up the way job anxiety chips away at your well being.

Chronic stress at work that you’re bringing home regularly “does damage — it causes a rise in blood pressure, GI issues and brain cell death over the long haul,” says Gail Saltz, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at The New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell Medical College.

If that doesn’t put job stress in perspective, listen to this: A 2015 Harvard and Stanford study even found that stress related to work is as bad as secondhand smoke exposure, insidiously seeping into your life like bus exhaust. Yikes.

Thinking about due dates and competitive coworkers when you should be chilling out and indulging in activities you love? It’s not what you’ve worked so hard for in your career. These strategies will help you create boundaries so the office can’t invade your brain after hours. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

 Find or list funding opportunities:

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Via Enzo Calamo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Stress is a tightening of your system. You have to find ways to unwind.

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4 Huge Mistakes Sales People Make on LinkedIn

4 Huge Mistakes Sales People Make on LinkedIn | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

LinkedIn is one of the most opportunistic social media tools for sales people, especially in B2B industries.

However, common mistakes detract from the relationship and productivity gains for many reps. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Via massimo facchinetti
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#Linkedin is not a quick sales tool. It can provide valuable business connections. It takes time to build trust and get to know people.

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Successful Disruption: Breaking Through The Brink

Successful Disruption: Breaking Through The Brink | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Avoiding digitization is no longer an option for professional services. Future growth depends on adapting to new digital methods and processes.

he professional services industry is on the brink of disruption. The digital revolution is here, and it is impacting the business. The key areas affected are the digitization of expertise, talent, service delivery and customer engagement. Read more: click image or title.

 

 Find or list funding opportunities:

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Via Ian Harris
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Digitization is inevitable. It is not just getting a website anymore, it's a complete overhaul of how you approach business.

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Ian Harris's curator insight, May 6, 2016 11:30 PM

Professional services are being disrupted. Thankfully!

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How to Increase Productivity By Working Fewer Hours

How to Increase Productivity By Working Fewer Hours | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

This CEO cut his employees' workday down to only 5 hours. The result: Happier workers and soaring profits.

You may be paying your employees for an eight-hour day, but the truth is most of them are doing about two-three hours of real work, and just taking all day to do it. Stephan Aarstol, co-founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards, says a ton of time is squandered throughout the day and even that productivity is faked to avoid the risk of getting fired. 

In response to these facts, Aarstol cut his employees' workday to just five hours. The catch? With increased pressure to perform, employees had to teach themselves to be highly productive. If they couldn't do it they would be fired, but his team met the challenge--and loved it. "With our five-hour workday, we've created a workweek better than most people's vacation weeks," says Aarstol. "Our workers have moved into a world of abundance, not scarcity, because we've massively shifted their quality of life by giving them the only scarce thing left... their time."

Aarstol outlines the specifics in his book, The Five-Hour Workday. By using the five-hour workday, the company was able to become one of the fastest growing in the nation. Here's a preview of the theory he suggests in our recent interview. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via ventureLAB
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This #CEO challenges you to try this in your company. Will your #profits go up?

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So You Want to be a CEO — Hone These Traits First

So You Want to be a CEO — Hone These Traits First | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Even if you’re several years away from even being considered for a CEO seat, it’s never too early to hone the key traits you’ll need to demonstrate to keep you in the running. Here are 6 tips that can help keep you on the right track. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


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Do you have what it takes?

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How a woman who went from $12 in her bank account to millionaire status learned to stop sabotaging her success

How a woman who went from $12 in her bank account to millionaire status learned to stop sabotaging her success | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Lisa Nichols "wasn't comfortable making $1 million."

Lisa Nichols didn't grow up with money.

After a humble childhood, she found herself a single parent with a mere $12 in her bank account at age 27. She needed government assistance to survive.

Today, her net worth exceeds $1 million, thanks largely to the success of her company, Motivating the Masses, which offers business coaching and professional development to small business owners.

The journey to millionaire status was not always a positive thing for Nichols, she explained during an interview with Essence:

Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Enzo Calamo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A great #success story. Good read for the weekend.

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7 Rock Star Female Founders Share Their Best Startup Advice

7 Rock Star Female Founders Share Their Best Startup Advice | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Seven successful women share hard-won advice for staying the course.

There's proof in the data. According to Bloomberg and research by Lesa Mitchell and Professor Vivek Wadhwa, women-led high-tech startups are more capital efficient, achieve 35 percent higher return on investment, and generate 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned companies when venture-backed. Despite these facts, women receive less venture funding and hold fewer C-level positions and fewer partner seats at VCs than men.

This is changing for the better. From Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) to Sophia Amarosa (Founder of NastyGal), women are leading and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs and leaders. My grandmother was a ceiling-buster at GE and became one of the first women managers at the iconic company. My mother blazed a trail for women during her career in technology and telecommunication. They've inspired me to follow in their footsteps and contribute to the voice for gender equality by celebrating and highlighting highly successful female founders, CEOs and investors.

I have interviewed six all-star female entrepreneurs to learn how they achieved their success and share valuable advice. The key takeaways are as follows. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Alldens Lane
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There is power in #data. #Women led startups perform better.

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How smart cities (will) work | ExtremeTech

How smart cities (will) work | ExtremeTech | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

These days, the word “smart” is being applied to anything with a processor or a sensor and a connection to a network of some sort. You can argue that having some processing power for information and the ability to communicate with something makes a device “smart” – or at least a lot smarter than it was before.

The word smart is also being applied to cities now – so what does it mean to be a smart city, or at least a smarter one? Broadly speaking, it means an information and communication infrastructure (sometimes acronymed as ICT) that allows smart devices (like smartphones, automobiles, thermostats, water meters) to connect to smart infrastructure (problem reporting, traffic signals and information, parking systems, the electric grid, billing systems) to improve quality of life and productivity in cities.

Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

 


Via Mário Carmo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The combination of #devices, #technology, #internet, #bigData and #AI is creating totally new entities, such as #SmartCities. What exactly makes a city 'smart?

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 23, 2016 3:04 PM

#SmartCities explained.

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A Framework for Expanding Your Business Internationally

A Framework for Expanding Your Business Internationally | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Global expansion can be great for your business, and even better for your local economy.

Global expansion can be great for your business, and even better for your local economy. Bloomberg reports, “U.S. companies operating internationally help spur economic growth that creates domestic jobs to meet demand in foreign markets,” according to a joint study by the Business Roundtable and the United States Council for International Business.

Yet, deciding when and how to expand internationally can prove difficult.

Are you ready?

On a whim, many ambitious entrepreneurs decide it is finally time for them to begin selling their products and services to the international market, whilst others are more calculated. Some business owners make the commitment only after they have hit a specific revenue milestone or have accrued a certain amount of liquid assets and cash. In rarer cases, many pursue international expansion as a remedy for slower business growth domestically.  Read more: click image or title.

 

 

Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more: www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Expanding #internationally is a major step. These 10 great questions and advice will really clarify what it takes.

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5 Ways Mindfulness Can Make Your Brain Healthier

5 Ways Mindfulness Can Make Your Brain Healthier | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Mindfulness is a simple, research-proven technique that physically alters your brain. Learn how to use it to become more effective and less stressed.

There's no shortage of advice out there claiming to make you better, but mindfulness meditation is the rare, research-proven technique that boosts your performance by physically altering your brain.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently pooled data from more than 20 studies to understand how practicing mindfulness affects the brain. While the researchers found significant changes in eight brain regions, there are two regions that are of particular importance to you.

In these brain regions, the simple act of practicing mindfulness increased both brain activity and the density of brain tissue:

Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Rami Kantari, Antonio Ormachea
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Amazing results from an approach that is very different.

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Meus's curator insight, May 13, 2016 4:14 AM

Mindfulness doesn't have to take place in the mountains of Nepal or a weekend retreat under a vow of silence. The beauty of the technique is that it's so simple you can do it anywhere and just about anytime.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 13, 2016 8:06 AM

#Mindfulness is mainly about where your #focus is and how you use your #brain. This process has the ability to completely restructure your brain.

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10 Things You Can Do Today to Close More Deals

10 Things You Can Do Today to Close More Deals | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Closing deals comes at a cost to the salesperson: the opportunity cost of closing more deals in the same amount of time.

 

As a salesperson, every call you have should be calculated, and every dialogue should have a meaningful and pre-planned goal.

The good news is that there are often easy things you can do to make deals come in more quickly, without jeopardizing the business relationship.

1. Disqualify Early

As much as you want to close deals, don't be afraid to disqualify prospects who you think won't buy.  Your time is valuable, and you should spend it with prospects that you have a realistic chance of closing.  Before you book an hour-long call, make sure that the prospect understands entirely what the call will be in regards to, and make sure that they are in a position where you can both gain from the call. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via The Learning Factor, Lisa deLeon
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Following these simple rules will make a great difference. Salespeople have to work with a system and best practices.

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The Learning Factor's curator insight, May 17, 2016 10:03 PM

If you're not doing these 10 things, you're losing money

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This Eyewear Startup Was Turned Away by 10 Factories. Two Years Later, Its Frames Will Be in 500 Stores.

This Eyewear Startup Was Turned Away by 10 Factories. Two Years Later, Its Frames Will Be in 500 Stores. | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Frameri is a Cincinnati-based eyewear company that wants consumers to never throw out their frames.

When Konrad Billetz was looking for a manufacturing partner for his interchangeable eyewear startup, he turned to Alibaba.com to search for factories. He hoped he’d find one that would help him make glasses with lenses that would pop in and out, allowing customers to snap a single pair of lenses into any number of frames.

“People kept telling us no,” Billetz says in a conversation with Entrepreneur. The 30-year old entrepreneur, born and raised in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, now lives and works -- proudly -- in Cincinnati, Ohio. “I would say at least 10 factories said, ‘we can’t do it.’ Or didn’t want to work with us.”  

Billetz eventually did find a manufacturing partner. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great story of persistence and creativity.

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Your on-demand startup won't be around in five years without these three things

Your on-demand startup won't be around in five years without these three things | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The supposed startup “bubble” and the on-demand economy are two of Silicon Valley’s most common discussion topics right now. VCs, media, and executives are all talking about them, and one of the most popular arguments is that the on-demand economy will be the first casualty of a bubble that is allegedly starting to burst.

The good news is that plenty of on-demand companies are thriving, innovating and doing exceptional things for the world. However, a slew of these businesses are fundamentally built on a model—on-demand delivery—that had no chance to begin with.

So-called “on-demand” companies can be divided into two categories: (1) those using technology as leverage for a new way of providing a service, and (2) those that classified a mobile app as “technology” and simply added “delivery." For many companies, on-demand is unnecessary. For example, I am a massage addict, and while it is nice to have a therapist come to my house, I don’t need my massage therapist “on-demand." I can keep to my regularly scheduled appointments. By contrast, companies like Uber/Lyft, Airbnb, and even Amazon have found ways to make an on-demand business that is both necessary and sustainable. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What does it take to make your #on-demand #startup succeed?

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We're Turning Into a Freelance Nation. Here's What That Looks Like.

We're Turning Into a Freelance Nation. Here's What That Looks Like. | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Technology has facilitated a global market shift that provides more options for freelance employees.

With more than 53.7 million freelancers working the United States, the group now makes up about one third of the nation’s labor force. It’s a number which signals just how much the U.S. job market has changed in the years following the Global Financial Crisis.

Researcher Bill Tancer said recently: “We believe there has been a fundamental shift in the U.S. job market. Incomes have stagnated and the size of the total labor pool has contracted.” Read more: click image or title.

 

 

 Find or list funding opportunities:

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#JobSecurity is going down and people are looking for new ways to market their skills. Working from home has many advantages, and so does working for yourself.

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16 reasons why your investment proposal won’t get read!

16 reasons why your investment proposal won’t get read! | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Increase your chances, improve your investment proposal or presentation to get business funding.

Check your business plan, executive summary or investment proposal for the following shortcomings.

These errors are made all the time and keep you guessing why you don't receive any responses. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

 

 

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

These common errors are some very real reasons why #funding sources do NOT look at your #businessplan

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