Berkonomics

Selling your business? Find the emotional buyer

Berkonomics

This is one of my favorite insights, since I lived this one in a positive exit from my computer business. Types of business buyers expanded. Most people will tell you that there are two kinds of eventual buyers for your business: financial and strategic.

Why not share your liquidity success with those who got you there?

Berkonomics

So, you are close to selling your company, and counting the profits a bit early. Well, that’s human nature. Here’s a thought for you to recall later when and if the event happens. Remember those who got you there.

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Take advantage of the good times to build stakeholder loyalty.

Berkonomics

Loyalty is a hard-earned commodity. There are several times when stakeholder loyalty is tested to the limit. For employees, a late or missed payroll is the ultimate test of corporate loyalty, divorced even from an employee’s ability to make do without a paycheck.

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Berkonomics

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years. Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)? This is serious stuff.

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Berkonomics

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years. Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)? This is serious stuff.

Can you become a master negotiator?

Berkonomics

Think you don’t use negotiation most every day of your life? From the time we learn to manipulate our parents from the crib to today, we learn to negotiate to obtain our wants and needs. As we grow, we negotiate constantly with our parents, then with our peers.

Non-competes, gray areas, and salvaging a failed purchase

Berkonomics

Last week we introduced the subject of non-compete agreements. Let’s dive a little deeper and present some “gray area” scenarios to consider. Then we’ll address the success or failure of the buyer with your product… First the obvious case in point.

Non-competes, gray areas, and salvaging a failed purchase

Berkonomics

Last week we introduced the subject of non-compete agreements. Let’s dive a little deeper and present some “gray area” scenarios to consider. Then we’ll address the success or failure of the buyer with your product… First the obvious case in point.

Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?

Berkonomics

This week, we continue our series on marketing and positioning. There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition.

Insurance is always too expensive – until it’s needed.

Berkonomics

I expect that you have a story about how insurance saved you lots of money in your past. As usual, I have a story to make your hair stand on end. But first: here’s a fact.

Sites 283

Why buy IT? Why buy MINE? Why buy NOW?

Berkonomics

What a powerful set of three questions. These are so succinct, so well defined, so precise that everyone in sales and everyone involved in marketing must be able to answer these three questions without pause, and convincingly.

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Are you wasting money filing patents?

Berkonomics

I’ve been working with early stage companies and their intellectual property protection plans for years. But only recently did I read a clear document on the risks and rewards of patent strategy.

Investors, your board, and you: Who controls strategy?

Berkonomics

You’re building a company from your vision and a passion, and lots of people are going to tell you that you have this or that wrong, and that it just won’t work. Business plans rarely survive market contact.

Course 170

Faster is sometimes more valuable than better.

Berkonomics

And d oing both well usually wins the day. This is one of those arguable insights, where both sides win. Dell is a great example of emphasis upon fast, creating a customized computer in 48 hours or less, bringing in assemblies and components just-in-time to make the assembly line.

What about your previous company non-compete?

Berkonomics

Entrepreneurs tend to remain in the business niche they know best. Usually that means one they once or recently spent time in as an employee or manager within a company where they had little or no ownership. Are you one of those?

What about your previous company non-compete?

Berkonomics

Entrepreneurs tend to remain in the business niche they know best. Usually that means one they once or recently spent time in as an employee or manager within a company where they had little or no ownership. Are you one of those?

Are you the bottleneck in your organization?

Berkonomics

Close. At many board meetings, I can be counted upon to ask, “Where’s the bottleneck this month?” Senior management is usually prepared with an answer, and a good discussion of resource availability and application follows. Sometimes, the bottleneck is not so visible to the CEO.

Are you thinking of the end game when managing your business?

Berkonomics

Ever think about growing your business with the plan to sell it someday, cashing in on your hard-earned work over the years? Or if you’re an employee with stock options, are you aware of the increases in value you can make with your efforts?

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Is your company or department as efficient as it should be?

Berkonomics

Close. There is more money lost in businesses today from inefficient processes than any other single area. Yet this is not a place where most managers feel comfortable deconstructing and rebuilding.

Business risk: Bet the farm only when the crops are on fire.

Berkonomics

Close. How much risk you and your company are willing and able to tolerate over time? Most people believe that early stage companies should take risks aggressively because there is less to lose and much more to gain with each risky bet or decision.

You are watched, mostly when decisions are tough.

Berkonomics

we_are_wat we_are_watching_you. Close. If you have been in management or an entrepreneur long enough, you will have experienced the gray area of decision-making where ethics, the law, your needs and expediency all collide.

Course 248

How do you pay an early stage board?

Berkonomics

Give one percent equity to each outside board member vesting over four years of service. Many early stage CEOs and board members have asked for some guidance regarding pay and time commitments for board members. Here is my best advice, based upon many boards and many years.

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What would you do if told to “fail fast?”

Berkonomics

Here’s a question that should strike close to home. Professional investors like to quote this mantra to anyone who will listen. Fail fast,” they say. But what if you believe so strongly in your budding enterprise that this seems to be the most ill-advised directive you’ve ever heard?

What would you do if told to “fail fast?”

Berkonomics

Here’s a question that should strike close to home. Professional investors like to quote this mantra to anyone who will listen. Fail fast,” they say. But what if you believe so strongly in your budding enterprise that this seems to be the most ill-advised directive you’ve ever heard?

Learn to never handle a paper or email twice

Berkonomics

Close. We all do it… to our own detriment. So, let’s make a pact that we will try, if not succeed, to handle our incoming messages more efficiently. Personal time management helps immensely to make a better manager of you and me.

Email 248

How can you let a talented employee go to pursue a new career?

Berkonomics

It is tough to lose your best employees wanting to advance their careers. Sometimes you can be the coach, helping them even if it means losing them.

Coach 248

You are your company’s moral compass.

Berkonomics

Here’s yet another story that you may identify with – or have yet to experience in your business life. It’s one of those that define your leadership for all to see, sometimes based upon decisions made in the moment – such as this one. A story of a CEO’s snap judgment call.

Any advice can be worthless, or worse.

Berkonomics

Close. Ever get bad advice? We all have in our past. Ever take that advice without question because the person giving it was an investor, a superior in rank, the chairperson of your board? I’ll bet you have at least one story of bad advice taken and being bitten as a result.

Have you been celebrating each victory?

Berkonomics

Here comes another story. Of course. This one may be like one or more you have experienced in your company. It is a story about focus upon the customer, first.

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I won’t serve on a board without D&O insurance!

Berkonomics

Close. I’ve been sued as a board member too many times over the past twenty-five years of board service. Five times. Does that shock you? It does me. Entrepreneurs blaming their board for failures of a fragile, early stage company.

Should I license my IP, sell a royalty stream, or just produce products?

Berkonomics

This week we contacted royalty licensing expert, the well-respected Arthur Lipper, asking the magic question. Why are you so strongly sold on royalty licensing as the most effective way to finance a tech-based early stage company?

IP 170

How about your board members’ time commitments?

Berkonomics

Expect a board member to give a meeting a month, emails and phone calls between. Urgent issues require more of all. Board members are usually busy people, often running other companies or serving on multiple boards.

Email 263

Here’s a rule for companies with outstanding loans

Berkonomics

Here is one that is so important to the continued health of a growing company that it cannot be overstated. It’s a bit complex for novices. But hang in there as I explain a bit about accounting classification of assets and liabilities. Differences between types of assets and liabilities.

Investors, your board, and you: Who controls strategy?

Berkonomics

You’re building a company from your vision and a passion, and lots of people are going to tell you that you have this or that wrong, and that it just won’t work. Business plans rarely survive market contact.

Course 156

Have you made the mistake of hiring too soon?

Berkonomics

Well, you may not be alone. Many executives and managers have made the mistake of using the financial and sales forecast to plan and execute hiring of new employees – so that they could be trained and up to speed when the demand arrives. The balance between preparedness and cost.