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Rescooped by Alain Theriault MBA from Business Improvement

Accelerate Growth for Your Business by Doing Just Three Things

Accelerate Growth for Your Business by Doing Just Three Things | Entrepreneurial Coaching | Scoop.it

Via Daniel Watson
Rescooped by Alain Theriault MBA from Competitive Edge

7 Principles for Propelling Your Startup to Success | New Beginnings

Want a venture to succeed?

I developed seven principles that can help a startup improve its odds at success based on analysis of more than 1,500 public companies that I did for my book Value Leadership.

Companies that followed these principles the most closely (I call them value leaders) grew sales 35 percent faster and generated 109 percent higher net margins than their peers and increased shareholder value almost five times faster than the market in the 10 years before 2003. Companies that do a better job of creating value for key stakeholders, such as employees, customers and communities, also happen to generate more value for shareholders.

The organizations that apply all these principles will outperform those that skimp on some. For example, one of Google’s glaring weaknesses today is its inability to create a significant new source of revenue beyond advertising. That does not seem to hurt the company too much now but it could in the future.

Although I developed the following seven principles years ago, I believe they can help a startup succeed today as has been borne out by recent company history

1. Value human relationships.

Entrepreneurs can’t do it all themselves, which means they need to hire talented people. Treat talented people with respect and be sure they are a good fit with the values of the company.

For example, Google hires very smart people who fit with its unconventional approach to problem solving. Google has used its famous data-driven approach to decision making to identify traits associated with effective management. And it has used those insightsto hire and promote peope who demonstrate these skills.

2. Foster teamwork.

If an entrepreneur hires talented people, he or she should demand that they debate solutions. Ask them to use their skills to develop better solutions from working together than they would by toiling on their own.

In the last few years, Google has encouraged more teamwork, which has helped the company bring new ideas like Google Glass to fruition.

3. Experiment frugally.

Startup CEOs must resist the urge to perfect their products before launching them. Instead, they should build fast, inexpensive versions of their products, receive feedback from the market and improve the product in response.

Google encouraged this kind of frugal experimentation by letting its employees spend 20 percent of their time working on projects of personal interest.

In 2011 new CEO, Larry Page, decided he wanted to “put more wood behind fewer arrows” and phased out 20 percent time while phasing in the Google X lab to work on innovations, Quartz reported.

4. Fulfill commitments.

A startup will not succeed unless the team knows the management’s intentions and then leaders act accordingly. And leaders who tell their people they’ll do one thing but do the opposite will lose trust.

Google has certainly tried to follow through on its oft-stated value “don’t be evil.” Sadly, it has not always succeeded, such as when it decided tocensor search results in China in 2006. It stopped in 2010.

Don’t make the same mistake. It’s better for a startup to give up on a business opportunity than to violate its core values.

5. Fight complacency.

Don’t let the success of a particular product or service keep the company from searching for better ways to meet customers’ needs. Remember Blockbuster? To fight complacency, maintain a healthy paranoia and always be on the lookout for how to adopt new technologies that will give customers superior value.

Consider how Netflix transformed itself from a DVD-by-mail service to an online streaming provider. Not only has Netflix managed the transition masterfully, it has also added new capabilities like creating popular shows and managing relationships with high-bandwidth service providers.

6. Win through multiple means.

Don’t let the startup become dependent on one product that competitors can copy. Protect sources of revenue and profit by being good at a few key skills that are difficult for rivals to copy.

Under Steve Jobs, Apple could enter into existing businesses (like MP3 players, smartphones and tablets) and cut itself a big slice of the profit pie. Apple won through multiple means: It had great product design, superb marketing and customer service, an efficient supply chain and the ability to motivate third-party providers as evidenced by the success of iTunes and the App Store.

7. Give to the community.

Running a startup is especially challenging because business owners can’t pay enough to attract top talent. But they can make up for the smaller pay packet by developing a meaningful mission.

Consider the case of Embrace Innovations, whose CEO, Jane Chen, I interviewed in June 2011. The social enterprise was started in an attempt to save the lives of premature babies in developing countries. In India, many premature babies died after not being kept warm during a four-hour journey to the hospital.

Because of its inspiring mission, the company attracted talented employers, who developed a tiny sleeping bag of special materials able to keep infants at the right temperature. This saved many lives.

This week my class of 30 Babson College undergraduates explored how Google has applied these seven principles: The students concluded that despite some flaws, notably in its privacy policies, Google is a value leader. The students concluded that Google excels at valuing human relationships, winning through multiple means, experimenting frugally and fighting complacency.

Ready to try these principles? In my book I listed 24 specific activities that companies should perform to follow the seven principles as well as 107 more detailed tactics to accomplish these activities.

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

Via Marc Kneepkens
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, October 19, 2014 1:08 PM

Good principles to keep in mind when doing business.

Rescooped by Alain Theriault MBA from Competitive Edge

How to Get Traction for Your Startup and Funding

How to Get Traction for Your Startup and Funding | Entrepreneurial Coaching | Scoop.it
Most startups want to get funding, but what they need are customers to prove demand... only then will they get funding. This article will focus on ways to use Kickstarter to not only build a customer base, but also demonstrate to investors that there is demand.

Most startups want to get funding, but what they need are customers to prove demand... only then will they get funding. This article will focus on ways to use Kickstarter to not only build a customer base, but also demonstrate to investors that there is demand.

There will include lots of successful stories on Kickstarter. The press enjoys them and they are highly shareable--because of the social media era. Currently, crowdfunding sites have become a highly popular medium in order to fund and promote your following business venture, which includes the hilariously simplistic ones. Presently everybody is buzzing in regard to the Kickstarter participant from Columbus who utilized the website to attempt to raise ten bucks to cook potato salad for the initial time. The Ohio Kickstarter user managed to exceed his Kickstarter project objective and obtained more than $55,000 in funds.

Most fantastic Kickstarters, unfortunately, don't get this much success, especially the technology-concentrated ones. What is the reason for this? It's likely because individuals have a more difficult time visualizing and understanding projects with more technical topics.

For the ones who have more tech-concentrated projects, here is how you can leverage Kickstarter in order to make your project successful:

1) Simplify your Messaging

It is important that you relate to the target audience and it may be challenging if the project is extremely technical. As you are creating product descriptors, consider your audience and then ask: Do they get my product? Do they see value in my product?

If those questions are answered prior to posting the campaign, chances are the average individual is going to be more than likely to back you.

2) Promote through Social Media

This one seems as if it should be a no-brainer--particularly coming from a PR viewpoint--but it is vital that you frequently generate fresh content during the month-long Kickstarter project. Posting updates daily to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn will assist you in driving more traffic. Plus, as you have these backers, that new content isn't just critical for updating these individuals, yet additionally from a search engine optimization perspective. You also can boost the project's engagement by reaching out to related projects, for purposes of cross-promotion, in order to dip in one another's backer pools.

3) Engaging Social Networks for Backing

It has been theorized that securing funds upon the first day of a Kickstarter launch includes the ideal method of ensuring a project is a success. One method of doing so includes engaging followers on social networks, by reaching out to your social media connections prior to launching and reaching everybody you know using email projects. You have to maximize the donor pool.

4) Spotlight Uniqueness to Provide Backers Reasons to Promote and Support You

It's crucial that you spotlight why your Kickstarter project is special. Techniques like personal marketing will be just as vital as marketing your product. With a public crowdsourcing campaign, individuals will be more than likely to turn away from an opportunity to fund if they do not feel connected to an individual requesting funding. Writing a letter or creating a video that explains why you require the funding includes a great method of connecting with the audience.

It also is useful to provide tangible rewards which will appeal to the audience, to increase backers' interest within the project.

5. Earned Media and PR

Press coverage and 3rd-party validations that highlight your campaign include the most efficient methods of driving a special audience to a landing page. However, to accomplish this type of validation will take more than merely talking about the product. Providing thought leadership upon associated product trends, the competition, and the wider marketplace could assist in securing mentions and increasing your visibility.

Piece of the Pie on Kickstarter

Launching a highly successful Kickstarter project may be a good way to increase your enterprise's visibility, as well as generate a customer base, prior to searching for seed funding. And by leveraging the above tips, hopefully more technology startups may boost their odds of taking a cut of the more than the $1 billion dollar pie of Kickstarter funding the platform has accrued so far.


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

Via Marc Kneepkens
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, November 8, 2014 8:59 AM

Traction, sales, customers is the big plus when trying to convince investors that you are the real thing.

Rescooped by Alain Theriault MBA from Business Improvement

4 Tips for Preparing Your Business to Grow

4 Tips for Preparing Your Business to Grow | Entrepreneurial Coaching | Scoop.it

Via Daniel Watson
Rhonda Hunter's curator insight, April 16, 2014 1:15 PM

Let Lincoln Entrepreneur Growth Group (LEGG) help you when your ready to grow! www.lincolneda.org

Hemant Galviya's curator insight, April 17, 2014 2:56 AM

nice lesson

Stefano Principato's curator insight, April 22, 2014 12:54 PM
Differentiate yourself and your business via continuous customer touches.