Entrepreneurship Tips — Business Tips

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 many managers are needed if you want a company to grow smoothly?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How many managers are needed if you want a company to grow smoothly?

There is a ratio called span of control that says the most people directly reporting to a single manager should be seven. This can vary some based on the people, management systems and other factors, but it generally applies in most areas of a company.  More direct reports means the manager will have little time for other work and activities like planning, strategy, communications with outside vendors, etc.  Of course, not every manager has seven employees. Some may have only one or two.  I usually differentiate this novice as a “supervisor” not a manager. They oversee an employee or two...

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How long does it take to prepare to become a founder?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How long does it take to prepare to become a founder?

I spent 10+ years preparing to launch my first big company opportunity at age twenty-nine. Having already started four different businesses before I finished high school, I had some basic experience and knowledge. I worked as a software engineer in my first full-time job after college. I worked on both mainframes and the first major Apple computer (Apple II). I then quickly move up the ranks to Senior Software Engineer, Architect and Vice President of Engineering by year five of my professional career.  That is exceptionally fast because I read every book available, did consulting on the side, worked long...

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Do you know any platform where people can study the skills to run their own companies?

Posted by Robert Norton on

Do you know any platform where people can study the skills to run their own companies?

Yes, I personally have created two platforms with about 40 courses total for this purpose, and a third set of courses for executive teams preparing to scale a company. There are at least 30 skills an Entrepreneur/CEO should learn before founding a company, not that they can be expert at all or even most, but all these skills will be needed on a team. We have trained thousands of CEOs from over 40 countries at The CEO Boot Camp since the first one in 2004. This program is for aspiring and active entrepreneurs to learn what they need to become...

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