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Entrepreneurs loath to seek mentoring should take at least one piece of advice: try it, you'll like it, writes the author who built a business by accepting help from smarter and more experienced founders. Included is a look at the workings of her relationship with her current mentor. (Originally Published October 2002)
Two years ago I had an idea for a website. I decided to leave a well paying job, invest all of the money I made post college, and began to start the terrifying journey of building a company. Today, I want to share the ten most powerful things I learned about turning that idea into a business at a time when the economy was at its worst, and capital was scarce. Many of the tips I'm sharing with you were passed down from others who were kind enough to share their experiences and insight with me.
At a time when branding is more important than ever for entrepreneurs, Lillian Vernon, the doyenne of direct-mail retailing, talks about branding herself to reach her customers. In the past half century, the strategy has enabled her company to get valuable publicity, as well as more easily extend its product line and weather times of crisis, the author writes.
When you run the biggest golf resort in the world and you bring a weak game, you play. Early and often, night and day. That's what Ken Chu did when he became vice-chairman of Mission Hills Group. The company opened the first course on what is now a sprawling 12-course club in Shenzhen, China, in 1994, and is building a 10-course venue in Hainan, the southern Chinese island Beijing is backing a tourism hub.
Regularly reviewing your business plan ensures that you meet the needs of a growing enterprise. This allows you to identify key growth areas that you want to target.
A profile and a video tell the story of how entrepreneurship mentoring organizations have been a large factor in Peter Thomas' success, and how he in turn generously gives back his time and financial support.
Candace Fleming’s résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.
But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”
Another potential backer, reports Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan. Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.
A culture of fun and respect for customers and employees pervades this family-owned furniture business that has been sold to legendary investor Warren E. Buffett, writes the author. Culture is what can't be taken away, even after a company is sold, as both the author and his brother are still actively involved, he notes.
Combining the allure and fun of an Australian theme with savvy advertising and PR, plus sports-related sponsorships led Outback Steakhouse to the top slotted brand in the steakhouse business, with over 700 locations globally.
A strategic overview of time management for entrepreneurs is delineated in this article by the co-founder of a consultancy that advises on the matter.
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