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Entrepreneurs can benefit from seeking to be paired for a fee with a mentor who provides guidance and support, says the author, who pursued such a formal mentorship upon the founding of her second venture. With new skills to learn in an operating company as opposed to her previous professional-services concern, this entrepreneur reports developing company-building tactics as well as respect for mentoring itself.
A helping hand from a beloved family member gave this author a gift more precious than a paycheck: the time and attention she needed to rebuild her career -- and her belief in herself.
Developing an environment in your company that rewards hard work and wins employee loyalty always helps to foster success. That culture may be crucial when your business has to confront a crisis.
After selling her first company, a newly wealthy software entrepreneur felt that writing checks to charity wasn't enough. So, she set up a nonprofit that runs a business employing disadvantaged young people. Then she joined an organization advocating economic fairness in society. Now she's providing for her daughter's education and learning about investment strategies.
Adaptation to change is a top priority for the founder of a fast-growing company that provides information-management solutions for home-care agencies. Leadership sets the standards for performance. But the bottom line is the bottom line, especially in tighter capital markets. The best way to foster endurance is to build value by satisfying your paying customers.
Are today's newly wealthy entrepreneurs robber barons or 21st-century heroes? Those who profit from the process of wealth creation are under increasing pressure to apply their skills and business experience to philanthropic ventures.
When cash flow turned positive and profits started coming in, the co-founder of an Internet start-up sought his advisory board's approval for new expenses. What he got was a barrage of questions: "Where are next year's projections? What's your mission statement?" As the business grew, the board made sure it stayed on track financially, raising prices as well as morale. And when the company was acquired, everybody cashed in.
When Frieda Caplan went into business for herself, she was the only woman in the produce industry. That gave her a national presence, but the real reason for her success was that her company filled an important niche. Now it's the leading distributor of specialty fruits and vegetables. Along the way, the founder learned some important lessons about financing. And she's still going to work every day-with her daughters.
Small and growing companies are discovering lucrative new markets abroad. Developing countries are importing products, tech know-how and system support and offering franchising, licensing and distribution opportunities. If your company is expanding abroad, you need to know what you're getting into.
When Michele McGeoy sold her first software start-up, she thought she was doing the best thing for her stakeholders. But, a few years later the new owners resold the company out of state, leaving her and her employees out of work. Having lost control by giving up ownership, McGeoy found a better solution for her next venture: She empowered employees by making them stakeholders and created a culture that promotes healthy growth.
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