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Not so fast, Martha Stewart.
OK, you're special. You are talented and one of the best at what you do. But that doesn't mean that you're equipped to run your own business--even one within a field or industry you've been working in or following for years.
To wit: 627,200 new businesses opened in the U.S. in 2008--the same year 595,600 businesses shuttered and 43,546 filed for bankruptcy, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Likewise, 30% of small businesses fail within the first two years and half close shop within five years, according to the SBA.
The fact of the matter is that far too many people launch their own companies for all the wrong reasons and without the tools it takes to succeed. Before handing in your notice and signing a lease on an office, it's imperative you take a hard look at yourself in the salaried eye and ask yourself a few critical questions that could mean the difference between a fulfilling life as your own boss and speed-dialing a bankruptcy lawyer.
At age 25, Laura Sanko was a founding member of a startup that raised $3.5 Million from some world-famous investors and the Founder’s Fund. The business model was simple: a website that rented high-end jewelry for special occasions for a fraction of the retail value of each piece. Three years later, the investment money was all gone and while the site continued to operate, it had failed to meet the investors’ expectations.
Whether a company is built with 50/50, majority, or minority partners, the author shares key lessons learned about buy-sell agreements as his companies grew and became more sophisticated.
A media entrepreneur advises joining and utilizing peer-to-peer groups that are selective to build the human capital that enables the building of companies.
The author discusses how to get the most from a buy-sell agreement, encourages entrepreneurs to detail very specifically what happens when ownership changes occur, and elaborates on the language required for valuation of the shares.
Baseball legend "Shoeless" Joe Jackson said "If you build it, he will come" -- a quote made famous by the Kevin Cosner movie Field of Dreams. A lot of companies take this approach when it comes to public relations.
With the recession lifting, returning to normal (even if it's a new normal) will take some time. The economy is recovering, and business growth is beginning to resume.
Entrepreneurs need a "just-right" business plan, one that provides a measuring stick for fast growth without overtaking performance, writes this computer-consulting entrepreneur.
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.
With the nation's ethics deteriorating in the wake of widespread corporate scandal, entrepreneurs need to examine questionable practices in their own milieu, such as inflating expectations to attract funding, writes the author. Included is a look at the unlikely course this former high-tech company founder has taken in order to adhere to principles.
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