If your startup is looking for an Angel investor, does it makes sense to present your plan to flocks of Angels, and assume that at least one will swoop down and scoop you up? In reality, hitting large numbers of Angels in multiple locations with a generic pitch is one of the least productive approaches.
In the old days, every entrepreneur dreamed of someday taking their startup public, and making it a multi-national powerhouse. Today the rate of startups going public (IPO – Initial Public Offering) is at an all-time low, and most entrepreneurs avoid this option like the plague, knowing the process is painful, and public company executives are seen as greedy sharks.
Investors will tell you that they love to put money into startups that are scalable, and ready to scale. But what does that really mean? Simply stated, it means that your business has the potential to multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost.
You can’t win as an entrepreneur working alone. You need to have business relationships with team members, investors, customers, and a myriad of other support people. That doesn’t mean you have to be a social butterfly to succeed, or introverts need not apply.
The ultimate compliment that any entrepreneur can get is that they can “see around corners.” This is a statement that they are willing and able (and successful) at projecting market and technology turns, not just straight-line innovations. They have the courage to make bold decisions, often contrary to conventional market research.
Although every startup is unique, there are certain common avoidable mistakes that can lead to legal complications that jeopardize the long-term success of the business. I’m not suggesting that every startup needs a lawyer, but you should definitely pay attention, and not be afraid to consult legal counsel if any of these raise qualms for you.
Successful entrepreneurs are the ones who think the most creatively, not only in their initial product or service, but more importantly all through the stages of growth from startup to maturity. But even the best of them can easily slip into some bad decision habits that limit or hurt their business, due to natural human tendencies and the pressures of business challenges.
At some point in their life, hopefully everyone strives to be the best in their chosen profession. Most people think that being the best requires more intelligence, more training, and more experience. In reality, in business or even in sports, the evidence is conclusive that it is as much about how you think, as what you do.
Founders have to communicate their ideas and products to investors, business partners, and the rest of the team. Communication is not just talking, but also listening, writing, body language, and “actions speak louder than words.”
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