• Here are ten vision tests for your success

    Here are ten vision tests for your success - August 1st, 2017 - 8:39 pm

    Your vision for success must be solid and flexible enough to pass several critical tests if it is to guide a business enterprise to greatness.  Here in brief are ten tests for your successful vision.  Try these on for size, and test yourself for attractiveness to the marketplace, to investors and to history. Ten tests for your successful vision Is your market identifiable and accessible?Test yourself as to whether you can identify the size of your market niche, and whether you can overcome the many barriers to access customers within your niche. Where in industry life cycle?If your vision is for a product or service that fills a need in a mature industry, you may be flying against the prevailing winds as a market shrinks over time, taking your business with it.  Conversely, a fast-growing industry lifts most all good participants, making excellent companies excel even more and grow even faster, like a small plane flying at 150 knots with a 75-knot tailwind. How large a total market?If the total market for your niche is under $100 million per year, it is going to be difficult to build a $50 million business, even if not impossible. If the market...

  • The best advice startups will never follow - July 2nd, 2017 - 10:21 am

    The best advice startups will never follow By Dave Berkus Let me tell you a few short hair-raising stories of entrepreneurs who have raised money and regretted it later.  Here are some rules that entrepreneurs almost always ignore to their future peril. Don’t take money from relatives who can’t afford to walk away without remorse.   Do take money from experienced family members only after you ask them if they are sure three or more separate times.  By the third time you can be sure that they aren’t being overly emotional or feel they can’t say no.  Also, if things go south, they are more likely to remember that you weren’t pushy and that you gave them three or more separate opportunities to say no. There’s a common expectation among entrepreneurs that seed money from family is great – letting close relatives in at the ground floor.  The problem, of course, comes if the business fails.   Some relatives believe that a family bond is an insurance policy, and that all investments or notes will always be repaid, no matter what the circumstance.  Consider whether the family member being asked to invest has the capacity to walk away “happily” from a...

  • Have you set your life and business goals?

    Have you set your life and business goals? - June 16th, 2017 - 4:58 pm

    You may have spent several weeks discussing your vision for success, and whether you could be the next Ford, Jobs or Musk.  Now it’s time to make this more tangible, more real – by attaching personal goals to this vision. So, your vision tells the world what you want to be as you contemplate how you will change the world for the better. But your goal is a tangible aiming point, one that should be achievable within several years if you accomplish your progressive steps planned between now and then.  You can express it in terms of money, market share, influence or other measure that reflects success.  Here’s a business example: “To be at a $25 million run rate by the end of our fifth year in business.”  That is measurable.  From it, you’ll be able to look backward to develop a set of steps (strategies) to achieve that goal. Once achieved, a goal is meant to be overwritten with a newer one, set to even higher standards.  If achieved early, celebrate and set another goal earlier than planned. The good thing about a goal is that it is measurable, and progress toward it can be measured as well....