Berkonomics

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After 20 years: Updating the Berkus Method of valuation

Berkonomics

Well, it had to happen.  But a lot of time has passed since then. Today, for me, that hurdle number is $20 million. The Method should allow for this.

The lion and the ant: A managerial lesson

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The boss, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports.

Work–life balance is now a cliché

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Dave’s Note:  Our special guest author this week is Kelly Graham from Decision Toolbox, Inc. Work–Life Balance is dead. Where is the balance?

It’s what you ask, not what you know.

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As an afterthought, he asked, about how many years does this old tree have to live?  Finding your ideal niche

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How do you focus your team for action?

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We all can benefit from this lesson.  The lesson is powerful but simple.  Follow through with a check of progress to show support and interest. Growth!

Entrepreneurs: Take the time to celebrate your exit.

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And to celebrate for yourself, for making it all the way to the finish line. Many fail multiple times.  Some fail in the first year of the attempt. 

Eye of the needle? Why worry over your bottlenecks.

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decision and action they undertook.  Her intentions were pure and admirable. She wanted only the highest quality for her organizational reputation.

The seven attributes of a highly successful start–up CEO

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By David Friedman. I met Kirsten Mangers several years ago after she successfully sold her startup, Webvisible.   Culture Maven. Chief Recruiter.

Don’t go on a phishing trip!

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He is a trusted technology and security consultant and public policy advisory to some of America’s most influential people and organizations. .

Money motivates.

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What a title.  Of course money motivates. But there is more to it then this. Next, some form of rewards should be designed to be immediate. 

Who cares about customer loyalty?

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Repeat customers, raving fans, angry backlashers, commodity shoppers.  Oh boy, what a range of loyalty these represent.  Often. It takes work. Growth

A simple test: “Are we managing like jerks?”

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Are we who issue orders to associates or employees ever acting as jerks?  We’d never like to think so, or we wouldn’t do it in the first place.

The best advice startups will never follow

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Let me tell you a few short hair-raising stories of entrepreneurs who have raised money and regretted it later.  Ignition! Starting up Raising money

Premature scaling kills businesses.

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But beware. Many, many companies accepting venture capital lost it all following this instruction.  Angel investors are more tolerant of this than VCs.  

Big data: Information is NOT knowledge

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Say that you have a log file of every contact to your website. You can accurately state that you have big data at your fingertips.  Growth!

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Double down!

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This piece of wisdom came from Jeff Bezos, founder & CEO of Amazon, during a board meeting for one of the companies where he sits as board member.

The “drop dead” question for a customer survey

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If more than forty percent of the respondents say they would be “very disappointed,” the product should go viral and be a great success. Growth!

Nail it; then scale it.

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So your business has begun to take off. Don’t be alarmed by this next statement. That’s relatively easy. The second crisis is organizational. Growth

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Drive your recurring revenues.

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This week, our guest post is by   David Steakley, a past President of the Houston Angel Network, and a reformed management consultant. Growth

Fire yourself. Rehire a new you.

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We may run out of fresh ideas after a time; most of us do.  Growth! Surrounding yourself with talent

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You are watched more closely than you think.

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Ever had a manager above you who said one thing and did another?  At least once?  Or in a pattern of repeats?  Well, you’re not alone. 

Reward success and failure. Punish only inaction.

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Reward failure?  That may be a difficult concept for an executive. And there are limits of course. What if those failures are commonplace?  

Hire on ability. Fire on fit.

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This is not necessarily the way we intend to behave as managers, but our headline reflects the reality of most experiences when viewed in retrospect.

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How to be a dictator enforcing sales offer deadlines

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So, it is common practice to leave an offer containing a discount open, following up. Deadlines are an important sales tool. Positioning

Sell when growth is high, even if cash flow is low.

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By John Huston. There are only two types of companies -those which have achieved positive cash flow and those which have not. 

Angels and VCs: Don’t be greedy even if you can.

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Sometimes the end game or sale of the company is not a happy event for the early investors, including the entrepreneur or the founders. 

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Three things you need to have when raising money.

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Here’s more advice from professional investors for aspiring entrepreneurs.  Come to think of it, these are good for challenging any business plan.

Hugh opportunities do NOT command amazing pre-money valuations.

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Dave’s note: Popular Bill Payne returns this week with a thoughtful take on valuations. By Bill Payne. million. It doesn’t seem right, huh?

The “inciting incident:” Movie scripts tell us how and when to look for investment.

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By David Steakley. Companies also need an inciting incident, because, more often than not, you often will depend upon selling your story to someone.  

Both sides must be fair in a term sheet negotiation.

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By Basil Peters. good example was during the negotiation of a term sheet. Email readers, continue here.]  Raising money

The three legged stool of marketing excellence

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Marketing is a science devised to help drive customers to your door. This is considered to be the producer-oriented model. Oh boy. Decrease costs.

Exit timing and price: WHEN to sell? How long does it take?

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We are pleased to host Basil Peters,  perhaps the best known name in the world of early stage company exits.  By   Basil Peters.

Are you an old school customer marketer?

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“Broadcast the message and they will come!”  “Segment my broadcast and I will have better response.”  She bought again. Old school or new school.

Is ‘servant leadership’ too soft for today’s workforce?

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It’s a term rooted in ancient philosophy.  Robert Greenleaf may have been the first to resurrect the concept in his book published in 1970. 

Be an Adaptive Business Leader.

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Unlike other groups, ABL members all belong to either healthcare or technology industry-focused roundtables.  facing their industry.

Timing your exit – Don’t ride it over the top.

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By Basil Peters. Most entrepreneurs wait too long to start thinking about their exit.  They were mostly victims of their own human nature.

The five tactical skills of a great executive

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While we are on the subject of great leadership, let’s list the five principal tactical skills of a great leader.  Skill number one: delegate. Genera

Create a ten percent profit model.

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Most entrepreneurs, when starting to model their business operations using a spreadsheet, start with expected revenue by month. General

Three qualities of a great leader

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By Dave Berkus. There are lots of ways to measure a great leader.  The first quality in a great leader is to have laser focus. 

Fish in the giant ocean – not in a shallow creek.

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You, the lonely fisherman, have to weave a net to catch your fish.  The size of your market may well define the ultimate size of your dream.  Growth

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