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The launch of a new product is analogous to the birth of a child, necessitating commitment, preparation, the ability to set a date against which to measure progress, and finally delivery, writes the author. Illustrative are scenes from this entrepreneur's introduction of physician-approved videos aimed at educating patients about their diseases.
Bringing a technology-based product to market involves assessing customers' needs and convincing them that yours is the solution, rather than trumpeting its innovative features, writes the founder of a videoconferencing company. Included are various tactics for engaging in what the author calls "relationship selling" and likens to the venerable board game of Checkers.
Companies that turn to contractors must structure both the business and the specific nature of the work accordingly, according to a software-company entrepreneur. On the business side, founders need to retain a competent attorney and match the right worker to the job; on the tech side, they must require that contractors produce their work within a framework that can be replicated for other projects, the author advises.
As an entrepreneurial company grows and adds layers of management, it can and should consider policies that address work and family issues or risk inconsistency across departments, writes the founder of a human-resources services firm. The author advises companies to examine four areas: scheduling, flexibility, telecommuting, and childbirth leaves. Increased productivity will be the company's reward.
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.
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.
When key leaders are ready to move on to new challenges or even retirement, their legacy can be greatly diminished without good succession planning.
Entrepreneurs must identify ways to exit a business at the onset, which enables efforts to be directed to a goal, writes the builder of two companies. The author, now a venture capitalist, outlines four steps for doing so.
Many entrepreneurs with family-owned or closely held businesses say the most difficult challenges involve deciding who will succeed the current generation.
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