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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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.

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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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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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. 

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

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?  

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. 

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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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.

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 “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.

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. 

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 “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.”.

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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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

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. 

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?

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

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

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.

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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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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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.

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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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.

Four ways to find new business in the new year

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But this new era of Internet advertising has given rise to two more forms you should know and use in addition to the two traditional types above.

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