Berkonomics

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Work–life balance is now a cliché

Berkonomics

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?

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.

Hire for talent. Rent for experience.

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Want the best way to create your core competency quickly and inexpensively?   There are obvious advantages to this. 

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

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.

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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.

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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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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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.  

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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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!

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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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?  

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

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. 

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.

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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The five kinds of risk in building your business

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If you could predict a crisis within your business before its occurrence, wouldn’t you move to prevent or reduce its impact?  Third is finance risk. 

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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. 

The five “Whys” a manager should ask

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This is a trick headline.  Asking the question forces the other person to think beyond the usual “what” that generated a response to “why.”.

Harvest your social media contacts

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You may not know that you have access to many “free” sources of social media contacts to help you in your marketing effort. Growth! Positioning

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

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?

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. 

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

Mailing lists, email marketing, errors, oh my!

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Using old email lists for the first time is like eating really stale doughnuts.  The taste is pretty bad, and the side effects could be disastrous.

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Project cash flow – not just profit – during start-up.

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Cash is everything to a new business.  How many times do we have to say this?  General

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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. 

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.

Email open rates: Your best marketing test

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Experian looked at three hundred brands and 21 billion emails – a few more than you or I have as a resource for our marketing intelligence. Same thing. 

Email 12

The five C’s of Business Partners: a marriage without the sex

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By Richard Sudek. Enjoy!    . Nowhere is this more evident than with the issues related to business partners. This relationship may last 5-20 years.

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Are you too emotionally involved in the decision?

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Negotiating an agreement, especially one that involves personal gain, is tough for the person personally involved.  Think of buying a car, for example.

Accurate assumptions lead to defendable plans

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Where did you get the data to drive your assumptions of market size or market share?  Email readers, continue here.]  Starting up Raising money

Don’t over-estimate the knowledge of your audience.

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If you are making a one-to-one presentation, don’t start without a conversation about the other person’s knowledge of your space.

Employee vs. contractor: Here we go again.

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Several years ago, I wrote an extensive article on the ten most important tests of a company in classifying a person as an independent contractor. 

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Include your labor value in your plan.

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That amount is almost always higher, much higher, than the amount budgeted for the entrepreneur. Berkus.com. Growth! Ignition! Starting up