Good Attitude Costs nothing yet…it can lead to Entrepreneurial Success

ATTITUDE The difference between success and failure in most human endeavors can be mental, the attitude of the individual. Of course, knowledge, skill, and talent (and to some extent) resources are important success components.A shortfall or lack of some of these components can be overcome by one’s attitude or mental makeup, which is totally controlled […] Read more »

Qwik Tips for Entrepreneurs

For: Existing and Wannabe Entrepreneurs, Those Teaching it, Students… and Friends or Associates who can benefit This is to announce a new feature for those starting and growing a business. It will appear regularly on the home page of my Bootstrapping 101 website. It is to share with Entrepreneurs and wannabe’s or anyone else you […] Read more »

What’s to Lose ….. JUST ASK

I truly believe that people must periodically step outside of their comfort zone to grow as a company and a person. In fact, once you start to do it, you will discover that your comfort zone expands. Doing this will empower you to request bold things that may elicit comments from your peers and associates like “outrageous, overreach, impossible.” You can overcome these naysayers and your own inclination of fearing failure by your preparation for this bold request, which I like to call Just Ask. Read more »

Reps, Bootstrapping, and The Harvard Business School

The below article was published by MANA, the largest Sales Rep association in the country. It shares Professor Gary Naumann’s excellent treatise on the Relevance of the R&R, HBS case on its 30th anniversary. Regular readers of Agency Sales magazine know Harvard MBA Bob Reiss as a “super-rep” whose business successes were so innovative that […] Read more »

Dealing with International Suppliers

 Over the years I’ve outsourced many products to International Suppliers, mainly in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Jamaica, and China. I’ve met with many myths in dealing with them, such as they aren’t trustworthy, reliable, outsourcing is unpatriotic, etc. These attitudes discouraged many American Entrepreneurs from even trying to outsource in foreign countries despite the major benefits […] Read more »

The Value of Reading Bootstrapping 101

        Right up front….I’m Selling. From all my visits to University Entrepreneurship classes, mentoring,readings and 16 start-ups, I’m aware of the knowledge gaps of many people going into their own business or trying to grow or sustain one. They are generally good at creating Business Plans, Power point presentations and theoretical’s, all of which […] Read more »

Why Sales Reps Are Assets for Manufacturers

This is a Guest Blog written by Jeff Simon, CEO and Founder of RepHunter who facilitates Manufacturers and Sales Reps finding each other. If you are the manufacturer or distributor of a product, you know that a good sales staff increases in importance as you grow. When you are just starting out, wearing the sales hat yourself may still work, but it eventually becomes difficult to juggle the unique skill set and travel that sales requires with the other responsibilities required of an entrepreneur. At some point, it becomes more useful to have a salesperson whose focus is exclusively set upon finding new and servicing and growing existing buyers for your product. Read more »

Risk – Smart Entrepreneurs Avoid and Manage Them

A Google alert steered me to an article called “Beating the Odds When You Launch a New Venture” that had just come out in the May issue of Harvard Business Review, authored by Clark G. Gilbert and Matthew J. Eyring. It was one of the best pieces Iʼve ever read about entrepreneurs, their attitudes, and management of risk. They said that entrepreneurs arenʼt cowboys—theyʼre methodical managers of risk. I thought their concepts applied equally to small and big business. I contacted one of the authors, Clark Gilbert, to discuss his ideas and decided I wanted to share his thoughts with my small business friends. The result is my interview. Read more »

SHARK TANK-Helpful or Harmful for Start-Ups?

The hit TV show "Shark Tank" helps start-ups get started. Would-be business owners come on the series to solicit money and help from a panel of five heavy-hitting entrepreneurs. After giving a pitch and going through a grilling, the contestants find out if they'll get funded or not and how much equity they will have to give up. On the air for five years and counting, "Shark Tank" is an entertaining and successful show. However, as a founder of 16 start-ups, my criteria for evaluating potential businesses differs from most of the panelists—I often find myself arguing with the screen. Read more »

Testing…. Crucial for Small and Large Companies

Last year I wrote a blog on Testing. . .Reduces Risk and Maximizes Success. It was geared to small Business. I said, “Large companies can absorb a failed product. Small company failures can be fatal. Now I would like to focus on two very large entities who neglected to test their ideas and paid a […] Read more »

No Trivial Matter

The below article was posted by the HBS Alumni Publication about the case study on Bob Reiss’ former company, R&R. No Trivial Matter By Garry Emmons It was 1983, and Bob Reiss (MBA 1956) was looking for a new game to play. A Brooklyn native and former basketball star at Columbia University who had become a successful entrepreneur […] Read more »

An Open Letter to Management of Major US Companies

Dear Managers: The NY Times on May 26th, 2013, in their lead editorial titled “A Is for Avoidance” with a sub-headline of “Apple Is the Latest Example of how American Multinationals Avoid Taxes” continued the demonizing of American business. They specifically mention Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Hewlett Packard, and General Electric for using aggressive […] Read more »

Partner with Established Brands to Build Your Own

You are known for the company you keep (as well as the company you are). There are several ways to bask in reflected glory. For example, you can run an ad for your product featuring your most prestigious customers. There’s some chance that those customers will kick in some money to support your ad, but […] Read more »

Closeouts. . .A Fact of Life

Even if your product has a long and happy run in the marketplace, it’s likely to reach the end of its run eventually, and leave you with a significant inventory on hand. Welcome to your first closeout! Think of this as an entrepreneurial rite of passage: If you’re in the game long enough, you’re almost […] Read more »

Interpreting the Numbers for Better Decision Making

Entrepreneurs do not love risk and express this dislike by devoting energy and brain power in determining risk and then deciding whether to proceed or not. Before they would abort, the smart Entrepreneurs would first look to minimize or eliminate the risk by Partnering, Sharing, Mitigating, Testing, etc. Analyzing the numbers can be a vital […] Read more »

Profits

Your ultimate goal is to make your product yield a profit. Obvious, right? So much so that it’s not worth mentioning? Well, yes and no. I’m always surprised to discover how many entrepreneurs take their eyes off this ball, elementary as it is. So I’ll go ahead and restate the obvious: The sustainability of your […] Read more »

Solve Your Sales Problem

 Small businesses, particularly in their early stages, have two big problems. Selling is a learnable skill, and you don’t need a sales gene to be good at it. 1)    Access to customers. The business owners are new to their industry, probably inexperienced, and have not developed the savvy to secure appointments with important potential customers. […] Read more »

Managing Your Inventory

 “too much carryover inventory can wipe away all your hard-earned profits and wreck your cash flow” For those who sell products, one of the key challenges in responding to a flow of reorders is keeping a large enough inventory on hand—but not too large. The constant dilemma you face is that you know your customer […] Read more »