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A business model that aims to consolidate in the fragmented tour-packaging industry must rely on the entrepreneurial owners of the local businesses it acquires, according to the writer. A case is made for developing the people who will build the business, rather than, as is practice for many consolidators, putting them out of business.
Effective business planning is critical to an entrepreneurial company's long-term success and its ability to raise capital and grow successfully. A properly prepared Business Plan should tell a story, make an argument and conservatively predict the future. All companies have different stories to tell, different arguments to make and different futures to predict, so they must resist the temptation to copy from others or to follow a rigid outline.
Service companies aiming to grow fast enough to attract financing need to address the weaknesses inherent in such business models, says the founder of a human-resources consultancy.
Entrepreneurs confronting the unhappy task of having to downsize when business conditions change need to execute in a way that preserves the dignity of, and, ultimately, the relationship with, the employees, says an entrepreneur who laid off her entire staff in the wake of the dot-com crash. Downsizing well involves throwing away the rulebook and dealing with people on a personal level, she writes.
The decision to terminate an employee can be both emotional and frustrating. If not handled properly, it can also result in expensive litigation. These days, wrongful termination lawsuits are not idle threats. According to a recent study conducted by Jury Verdict Research, recently fired executives who sued are winning often and winning big.
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.
Finding venture capital is a matter of securing the right fit between founder and funder, writes the author. Affinity with a investor helps, such as pursuing groups that finance the type of company that yours is, such as a minority- or female-led firm; also necessary is a plan outlining your company's financial prospects and a pitch for convincing investors that you can execute, the author notes.
Risk is the essential element of entrepreneurial life but it can and must be managed if company founders are to build profitable enterprises, writes the author, who has founded companies and is currently a venture capitalist helping others do the same. To control risk, he advises listening to instinct, managing to a plan, and working the financials so that there is enough money to fund the need.
Entrepreneurship means risk, writes the author, a veteran journalist turn dot-com entrepreneur who lived to tell the tale in a best-selling book. In an equally frank article, he speaks about teetering on the brink of financial and marital collapse before securing financing, and advises fledglings to assess their tolerance for risk and level with loved ones before taking the risk-laden entrepreneurial plunge.
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