Entrepreneurship Tips

Should I join a company as a Founder?

Posted by Robert Norton on

Should I join a company as a Founder?

If you have to ask this question, you are likely not passionate enough or ready in other ways to do this. The commitment to any startup is likely five or more years. And long working hours that can easily be sixty-to-eighty-hour weeks at times.  As a result, you need to know for certain you would both enjoy the work and are qualified to do the job offered. You also need to do your due diligence to understand the company’s team, finances and chances of success. About 85% of startups will fail. Just a fact. Asking about a specific company is...

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When is the right time to get adviser/board of directors for a startup?

Posted by Robert Norton on

When is the right time to get adviser/board of directors for a startup?

Firstly, these are two very different things. A BOA is usually a domain expert while a BOD member may bring skills like finance, sales, operation, scaling, marketing or other expertise. Too many boards are dominated by investors who only know finance. The right time to start is yesterday. Usually as soon as you are clear on the mission of the company, which allows you to build out the skills you need on your team. It takes time and patience to develop a BOA member. Few want any formal connection until some value has been built, as the risk is so...

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How Big Must A Market For An MVP And Market Entry Strategy Be?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How Big Must A Market For An MVP And Market Entry Strategy Be?

Absolutely. That is called a “niche” and often is the intersection of a vertical market and application/problem. And even smaller is okay and sometimes an advantage in the beginning. Of course, you also need a vision and steps into larger markets. Generally, $1 billion minimum if you seek institutional capital, as they only invest in companies that can reach $100M in sales after 5–6 years. Even if your price point is $250 that’s a $12.5M market opportunity. Which may be enough to validate your product, tune it, prove your value proposition, price point, marketing, and sales economics to raise funding...

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How can a company plan to maximize growth?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How can a company plan to maximize growth?

Contrary to popular belief, growth is not just limited by your ability to increase sales.  It is almost always capped by many other things like management quality, financing, operations, training systems, hiring and other systematization. Many companies have gone bankrupt by simply increasing sales. When this happens without getting ahead of problems with customer service, production, working capital and financial controls, companies can not just ruin their reputations and spiral down but even go bankrupt. If you are lucky or smart enough to have a product or service with a large market opportunity, your company’s growth will be mainly limited...

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What is a good growth rate to plan for in a small company?

Posted by Robert Norton on

What is a good growth rate to plan for in a small company?

I believe a minimum of 25% should be planned for in growth as anything less will likely leave you behind competitors and being a follower, not a leader in the marketplace.  I consider “Scaling” to be growth of 50% or more annually. That is far more difficult and requires a quality management team, strong internal processes (systematization) and likely some capital investment in addition to cash-flow. If you can reinvest your cash-flow and/or get some low-cost debt, which usually requires at least eighteen months of profitability, you can maintain control and avoid the time and complications of raising outside capital....

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