Entrepreneurship Tips — Pre-Startup

How Big A Market Should A Startup Company Target?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How Big A Market Should A Startup Company Target?

There are many factors, and it is too complex to offer a standard answer. You need to hire a consultant that is a CEO/Founder with lots of experience to discuss things for 1–2 hours. One way around this is to set hourly rates for the founders and track time to allocate it according to contribution. Shares are earned with seat equity. A simple spreadsheet with monthly invoices submitted by everyone is easy to do. There are plenty of software solutions for this too, but likely best only when it gets complicated with many founders. People and Founders are never “equal”...

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If I Pitch an Idea to a Private Investor, What Happens If They Steal It?

Posted by Robert Norton on

If I Pitch an Idea to a Private Investor, What Happens If They Steal It?

Ideas are worthless. And it would be totally legal for them to steal them. Maybe you are confusing patents, copyrights and other intellectual property. An “idea” has no legal protections. And you can be pretty sure you are not the first one to have any given idea too. And if anyone can steal a single “idea” and replicate your business, it is a very bad business. What you need is lots more including many things like a business model, target market, product/service and hundreds of ideas. Companies need a team, plan and many protectable ideas. These are protectable intellectual property...

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How can you ensure consistent customer service training for employees in your small business?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How can you ensure consistent customer service training for employees in your small business?

It all starts with a strong, documented values statement that is taken very seriously at every stage. This means enforcing it and using it as a basis for reviews, bonuses, and promotions in a visible way. Here are more key component of a process that will work: Training for employees in this and your company's value proposition. Including ethical behavior for long-term, mutual benefit. A win-win relationship with customers, not a transactional one. A culture of customer service. Employees are not allowed to bad mouth customers. That is attitude and can run off the rails if not limited. Use video...

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How Can A Young Tech Company Compete Against Established Players In The Market?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How Can A Young Tech Company Compete Against Established Players In The Market?

Startups should never, ever, never compete with big companies. They must offer something different. “Differentiated” is the most important word in designing a startup market entry strategy. Look at this diagram and decide how you can adjust your company to be in the top right quadrant. Without that you have no chance of surviving, never mind profiting, because you will compete with companies 100 to 1,000,000 times larger than you with already developed marketing and sales channels and huge budgets.     Only these kinds of companies will attract investors (needed to grow) and top employees because they know the...

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What Is A Reasonable Salary For Early Founders When Raising Outside Capital?

Posted by Robert Norton on

What Is A Reasonable Salary For Early Founders When Raising Outside Capital?

A reasonable salary for any CEO or founder is a $100K to $200K today. This depends on their experience and market value which could easily be $500K+. A CEO with ten years in that seat is worth $300K to $500K base salary, but investors want them to have skin in the game and urgency too. Like a salesperson you never pay them enough in base salary to be totally happy, or financially comfortable. Stock value should be the main long-term motivation. At 20% capital gains tax, not 50%+. What is more important is that the base salary is a small...

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