Entrepreneurship Tips

The 11 Elements of a Successful Vision

Posted by Robert Norton on

The 11 Elements of a Successful Vision

 There is a lot of talk about creating and maintaining a vision, especially as part of a CEO's job. In my opinion, ‘vision’ is a term that is both greatly overused as well as largely misunderstood.  Many people consider vision to be an all-encompassing view of the product or service, while others expand its meaning to include the entire market and still, others believe the term encompasses far more. What is "Vision"? Why Do You NEED One? How Do You Use it? How Do You Know It Is Complete? Having been personally responsible for a corporation’s vision for many years, I believe it covers more than...

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What Kind of Team Do You Need to Raise Outside Funding?

Posted by Robert Norton on

What Kind of Team Do You Need to Raise Outside Funding?

  Most investors agree that the number one factor they look at in any investment opportunity is the management team.  Some even claim it is number one, number two, and number three because a good team will likely fix any problem.  However, quantifying this and getting people to understand and rate their team objectively is needed to improve, and even understand, where your team is today.   Over ninety percent of teams are insufficient to achieve outside financing, though that is par for the course in a startup, and recognizing this with a plan for hiring can help jump that obstacle....

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Top Startup Mistake #2 - War Stories From A Seasoned CEO 

Posted by Robert Norton on

Top Startup Mistake #2 - War Stories From A Seasoned CEO 

Understanding Capital Expenditures and Their Real Cost During my first week at a company I had just joined as President, I was asked to approve the purchase of a $250,000 piece of hardware. The operations people, all from larger companies, were desensitized to the cost of capital and its accessibility. They wanted to buy this $250,000 piece of hardware to be ready for the flood of customers "coming soon."  The CFO had been convinced by the technical staff that the world would fall apart without this equipment, and we could never serve any customers "correctly."  The logic was that they...

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Top Startup Mistake #1 - War Stories From A Seasoned CEO

Posted by Robert Norton on

Top Startup Mistake #1 - War Stories From A Seasoned CEO

It always amazes me how much waste there can be in a big company because people do not consider it their own money.  I have worked in several large and many small companies, but I always tried to ask myself "would I pay this personally" before I signed a check or a P.O. for the company.  Once I was acting as President at a small startup that was spending money at a rate of over $350K per month when I arrived and did not yet have any sales, marketing, or operations staff.  Virtually everything was going towards product development, with...

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Are You Cut out to Be an Entrepreneur?

Posted by Robert Norton on

Are You Cut out to Be an Entrepreneur?

This article will list the many skills that are required to launch an entrepreneurial venture that can be at least profitable, and hopefully scalable.  And it will help you decide if you are ready to take on that challenge.  Be advised that years of preparation and learning are usually necessary to be truly prepared to launch any company, even one that is not new and innovative.  And if you lack the skills listed herein, you need to plan to recruit people that bring these skills if you want a company to be successful.  The skills required to build a company...

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